WASHINGTON – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday warned about an “explosion of threat” from digital markets, together with the misuse of cryptocurrencies, however stated new monetary applied sciences may additionally assist battle crime and scale back inequality.
In remarks to a monetary sector innovation roundtable, Yellen stated such applied sciences may very well be used to stem the move of darkish cash from organized crime and battle again towards hackers, but additionally to scale back digital gaps in america.
She stated passage of the Anti-Cash Laundering Act in December would permit the Treasury Division to remodel a framework for combating illicit finance that has been largely unchanged because the Seventies.
“The replace couldn’t have come at a greater time,” Yellen advised policymakers, regulators and personal sector specialists. “We’re residing amidst an explosion of threat associated to fraud, cash laundering, terrorist financing, and information privateness.”
The COVID-19 pandemic had triggered extra — and extra refined — cyberattacks geared toward hospitals, colleges, banks, and the federal government itself, she stated.
Cryptocurrencies and digital property supplied promise, however they’d additionally been used to launder the earnings of on-line drug traffickers and to finance terrorism.
Innovation within the sector may assist handle these issues whereas giving hundreds of thousands of individuals entry to the monetary system, she stated.
Yellen, who has promised to prioritize preventing inequality and disparities, stated the pandemic had uncovered big issues, together with the dearth of broadband entry in lots of areas of the nation.
She stated accountable and equitable innovation may make an enormous distinction.
“Innovation shouldn’t simply be a defend to guard towards dangerous actors. Innovation also needs to be a ladder to assist extra folks climb to the next high quality of life,” she stated.