Janet Yellen, who’s expected to lead the Treasury Department for the incoming Biden Administration, described cryptocurrencies as a “explicit concern” with regards to terrorist financing.
Yellen made the comment throughout her Senate affirmation listening to in response to a query from Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) who requested about “the potential for terrorists and criminals to make use of cryptocurrency to finance their actions.”
“I believe many [cryptocurrencies] are used, at the very least in a transaction sense, primarily for illicit financing and I believe we actually want to look at methods by which we will curtail their use and ensure that anti-money laundering doesn’t happen by way of these channels,” Yellen stated Tuesday in remarks reported by Coindesk.
In her former publish as Chair of the Federal Reserve, Yellen has spoken dismissively of Bitcoin and stated she is “not a fan.” Her skepticism might come up partly from an incident well-known in cryptocurrency circles that noticed a person photo-bomb her at a gathering with an indication saying “Purchase Bitcoin.”
Many within the crypto world declare Bitcoin is a superior forex as a result of it’s not liable to government-induced inflation—a declare that gained new momentum after central banks started printing cash at document charges with the intention to present financial stimulus throughout the pandemic. The stimulus led to a latest meme mocking the Fed known as “Money printer go brrr.”
Cryptocurrency is unlikely to be a high order precedence, nonetheless, for Yellen, who is anticipated to be confirmed to her Treasury Secretary publish within the close to future. At Tuesday’s Senate listening to, she said her initial focus will probably be on serving to American staff and companies hit arduous by the pandemic. She additionally took swipes at China for unfair commerce and financial insurance policies.
Whereas the cryptocurrency trade is more likely to view Yellen’s newest remarks as a trigger for concern, it’s also optimistic that one other Biden appointee—incoming SEC Commissioner Gary Gensler—will give them a possible champion within the federal authorities. Gensler, a former Goldman Sachs government, has taught cryptocurrency programs at MIT.
As for Yellen, her feedback come at a time when the federal authorities is proposing controversial new rules that impose further buyer reporting necessities on cryptocurrency companies.
The U.S. cryptocurrency trade, which should already adjust to a raft of anti-money laundering guidelines, has claimed the brand new guidelines are extra onerous than these imposed on banks and that they’ll inhibit innovation. Crypto advocates have lengthy stated applied sciences like Bitcoin are unfairly maligned, mentioning that crooks have lengthy used forex like $100 payments and Apple reward playing cards for felony ends.
The destiny of the proposed guidelines, promulgated within the final days of the Trump administration, is unclear for now.
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