Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen warns of crypto crime

Biden’s Treasury pick Janet Yellen appeared before the Senate yesterday as part of the approval process

The former chair of the Federal Reserve, poised to become the next Treasury Secretary, completed her Senate confirmation hearing yesterday. She called out criminal activities involving cryptocurrencies in the hearing while responding to Senator Maggie Hassan’s question.

The junior Senator from New Hampshire asked Yellen what her take was on emerging threats related to financial terrorism. She also asked how Yellen would combat illicit financial activities, especially those linked to cryptocurrencies in the Treasury role.

The Treasury Secretary nominee spoke against the digital assets describing their unlawful use as a concern.

The technologies to accomplish this change over time, and we need to make sure that our methods for dealing with these matters, with tech terrorist financing, change along with changing technology, cryptocurrencies are a particular concern.”

Yellen claimed that many crypto coins are being used to promote illicit activities. The economist explained that regulators need to come up with ways of curbing the use of crypto channels to launder money.

I think many [cryptos] are used, at least in transactions sense, mainly for illicit financing, and I think we really need to examine ways in which we can curtail their use and make sure that anti-money laundering doesn’t occur through those channels.”

The wider market momentarily corrected yesterday following her critical comments.  Yellen is a renowned Bitcoin critic, and her words could stir the already unsettled crypto community irked by the recently proposed FinCEN regulations.

While serving as the Fed Chair, she claimed that she didn’t intend to overregulate the crypto space, but her past remarks on Bitcoin suggest otherwise. Her comments in the hearing come just a week after the president of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde recommended the adoption of more regulations on Bitcoin.

Yellen also touched on the current US economy status recommending the second round of monetary stimulus as well as a market-determined dollar rate. It is not clear when the vote on her confirmation will be carried out. However, reports are suggesting she could ascend to the position tomorrow.

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