This week, the crypto market has been turned upside down after United States President Donald Trump tweeted about Facebook Libra, Bitcoin, and crypto. The tweet heard ‘round the world in the crypto space started a domino effect with nearly every US politician and regulatory body making comments about the digital asset class.
In a new interview with Joe Kernen on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin said he shares the president’s concerns over cryptocurrencies, and plans to enforce “very very strong” regulations over digital currencies, which he says are used for an abundance of illicit activities. He even defends cash for being used for the same activities, much to Kernen’s suprise.
US Secretary of Treasury: We Won’t Let Bitcoin Become the New Swiss Bank Account
Earlier in the week, Steven Mnuchin, United States Secretary of Treasury, held an emergency meeting on Bitcoin, saying they are used for “cybercrime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illicit drugs, and human trafficking,” and revealed that the government would soon be cracking down on exchanges offering the digital asset class.
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Continuing his crusade against Bitcoin, the politician and financial regulator says that he and his branch will be enforcing regulations “very, very strong” across the space.
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) July 18, 2019
“We are going to make sure that bitcoin doesn’t become the equivalent to Swiss numbered bank accounts which were obviously a real risk to the financial system,” he concluded.
Mnuchin Pushes Back on Cash Associated Crime, Says Crypto Is the Concern
CNBC Squawk Box host Joe Kernen was immediately taken aback by the secretary’s comments about Bitcoin and its usage for crime. His retort was that cash has been used by over the centuries for the same crime that the Secretary says.
He challenges the policy maker that if we stopped using a currency just due to it being used for illicit activities, we wouldn’t even be using cash – which he says is “laundered all the time, and used for nefarious activities.”
Mnuchin pushes back, saying that he doesn’t think that “cash is laundered all the time” – a statement that visually shocks Kernen as can be seen by his facial expression reaction to the comment, as almost if he’s in disbelief that the person in charge of money in the United States claims it isn’t use for activities.
The US dollar is regularly exchanged under the table to avoid taxes, used in drug and human trafficking transactions, used for money laundering, and is essentially the “root of all evil.” Yet, Mnuchin and the rest of the world’s regulators are somehow demonizing crypto, for being used as a vehicle for the exact same thing.