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Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Echoes Trump’s Views on Crypto and Importance of Compliance

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin echoes President Donald Trump’s views on the dangers of crypto being used for illegal activities. He also emphasized the importance of imposing FinCEN regulations when dealing with businesses using cryptocurrencies. 

The Treasury Secretary made the remarks in a recently held press conference. 

Illegal Activities and Threat to National Securitiy

According to Sec. Mnuchin, digital currencies like Bitcoin have been used to facilitate millions of dollars’ worth of illegal activities like cybercrime, extortion, human trafficking, illicit drugs, ransomware, and tax evasion. Mnuchin said the issue is a threat to national security. 

When prodded by the press, Mnuchin said that he thinks cryptocurrencies are being used to finance crime. 

Mnuchin also admitting to sharing President Trump’s views on cryptocurrencies and echoed his sentiments about Bitcoin being volatile and “based on thin air.” He also stressed that the Treasury takes the US dollar’s role as the reserve currency of the world very seriously. 

The renowned investment banker also claimed that the Treasury had emphasized to Bitcoin users and to Facebook that, similar to banks and other traditional financial institutions, digital finance firms are also obligated to follow the Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) policies.  

Bank Secrecy Act

Mnuchin also added that cryptocurrency transmitters have to adhere to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and sign up with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). It’s a branch of the Treasury that implements the policies of the BSA. The FinCEN also has jurisdiction over every money service exchanges, including crypto projects like Facebook’s Libra. 

Secretary Mnuchin has also set up the Working Group on Digital Assets, which will fall under the Financial Stability Oversight Council. The group is established with the goal of mitigating any regulatory risks connected with crypto.

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