Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday the department will police bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with “very, very strong” regulations so that they don’t become cloaked in secrecy.
“We’re going to make sure that bitcoin doesn’t become the equivalent of Swiss-numbered bank accounts, which were obviously a risk to the financial system,” Mnuchin said in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
While Mnuchin’s comments today do not elucidate his specific regulatory policies, he said previously that cryptocurrencies pose “risk to the financial system” if misused like Swiss bank accounts.
To prevent financial crime or monetary distortion, the Secretary has called upon the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to design guidance that will hold cryptocurrencies to the highest standards.
Today he added, “We’re going to make sure we have a unified approach and my guess is that there are going to be more regulations that come out from all these agencies.”
Mnuchin was also asked if bitcoin’s use in illegal transactions disqualifies it as a legitimate currency, given that the U.S. dollar is often used by bad actors for illegal purposes.
“I don’t think that’s accurate at all, that cash is laundered all the time,” Mnuchin replied. “We combat bad actors in the U.S. dollar every day to protect the U.S. financial system.”