Janet Yellen suggests ‘curtailing’ cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, saying they are mainly used for illegal financing | Currency News Financial and Business News

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Janet Yellen on Tuesday expressed concern about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, whose price has increased.


Janet Yellen, President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for treasury secretary, suggested on Tuesday that legislators should “curtail” the use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin over concerns that they are being used “primarily” for illegal activities.

There has been a surge in interest in bitcoin; its price has increased by about 300% in the past year. Bitcoin was down 7.59%, to $ 34,183.57, on Wednesday, while Ethereum was down 9.74%, to $ 1,259.97, after hitting an all-time high of more than $ 1,430 on Tuesday.

Yellen’s comments suggested that the incoming Biden administration may be hostile to cryptocurrencies and ramp up regulation. Guardians around the world, from the European Central Bank to the UK’s financial regulator, have recently expressed concerns about cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Senator Maggie Hassan asked Yellen during her confirmation hearing on Tuesday about the dangers of terrorists using cryptocurrencies.

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“You are quite right that the technologies to achieve this change over time, and we need to ensure that our approaches to dealing with these issues, with terrorist financing, change along with technology that change, ”Yellen said.

“Cryptocurrencies are a particular concern. I think many are used – at least in a transaction sense – primarily for illegal financing.

“And I think we really need to explore ways in which we can reduce their use and make sure money laundering doesn’t happen through those channels.”

Yellen’s comments echoed those of ECB President Christine Lagarde, who said last week that Bitcoin had been used for some “perfectly understandable money laundering activity.”

Large investors have expressed similar concerns. Warren Buffet said last year that “Bitcoin has been used to move around a fair amount of money illegally.” He said investors should “take shortcuts,” as criminals would no longer need to carry cash.

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that have no physical form and are not controlled by a central authority such as a central bank. This means that they are largely unregulated and untreated, making them appealing to criminals.

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But their advocates say that a lack of central control makes them attractive in other ways. For example, they argue that Bitcoin can protect against ruining national currency when central banks launch massive leverage programs.

Bitcoin bulls are very excited by the recent jump in the price of cryptocurrency.

“The king of crypto is the foundation layer for an emerging alternative financial system,” said Paolo Ardoino, chief technology officer at the Bitfinex crypto exchange.

“Bitcoin provides a solid foundation for an astonishing array of projects, some of which will fundamentally change the nature of money by the end of the decade,” Ardoino added. Bitcoin products include funds and options.

Regulators have urged caution. Earlier this month, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority said people who invest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum could “lose all their money.”

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