The United States Department of the Treasury met with prominent figures from the cryptocurrency space to discuss regulatory challenges.
The Treasury announced on Mar. 2 that it along with industry thought leaders and compliance experts discussed the supervision of crypto assets.
Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said that the U.S. welcomes responsible innovation with the potential to improve the efficiency of the financial system. Still, he also highlighted the need to ensure that national security is not compromised by such innovation:
“We must ensure that we balance innovation with the need to protect our national security and maintain the integrity of our financial system.”
Per the announcement, the U.S. Treasury Department is focused on preventing the use of crypto-assets for money laundering, terrorist financing and other illegal purposes. The regulator added that the U.S. will stay at the forefront of cryptocurrency regulation and “will not tolerate the use of cryptocurrencies in support of illicit activities.”
United States’ conflict with cryptocurrencies
Multiple U.S. financial regulator officials have shown caution, or even hostility, toward cryptocurrencies. Last summer, Mnuchin himself insisted that cash is not laundered as much as Bitcoin (BTC) is.
In December 2019, a member of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s board of governors said that one-fourth of Bitcoin users are criminals and half of all Bitcoin transactions are associated with illegal activity.
The belief that cryptocurrencies are associated with this much nefarious activity results in a broader financial system that tries to avoid collaborating with entities involved with crypto assets.
Recently, the founder of blockchain communications shop ChangeOutput, Justin O’Connell, said that many banks do not facilitate crypto-related business due to the perception that cryptocurrencies are mainly used for illicit activities.