US Treasury Department Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that his department is conducting an investigation on the illegal applications of the leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin. He claimed that the probe is intended to ensure that the digital currency is not utilized for “unlawful purposes.”
During an interview with Yahoo Finance as of early November 2017, the secretary claimed that the alleged illicit use of Bitcoin should be reviewed “very carefully” to make sure that the dark web is not financed in Bitcoin.
"So we want to make sure that you don't have the dark web funded in Bitcoins. And that's something that is a concern of ours today."
Actions by the agency on cryptocurrencies
Earlier, the Treasury department announced a plan to assess the digital currency practices of the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
In the same announcement, the agency claimed that the audit is related to FinCEN’s strategy in addressing money laundering and terrorist financing risks associated with cryptocurrencies.
“We plan to determine how FinCEN identifies, prioritizes, and addresses money laundering and terrorist financing risks associated with virtual currencies."
Meanwhile, Mnuchin claimed in the interview that the issues involving the use of Bitcoin are also being discussed with their international counterparts. He further stated that dealers of the top-dog virtual currency in the US should meet the requirements of know-your-customer (KYC) and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). These requirements are intended to prevent or counter money laundering activities and fraud in the country.
“So if you’re a Bitcoin dealer in the United States, you have the…customer requirements and BSA requirements. And those are issues I’m discussing with all my international counterparts. So our number one issue is, we wanna make sure that this is not used for illicit transfers of funds.”