Steven Mnuchin: Bitcoin is national security issue

in #bitcoin2 years ago

Steven Mnuchin, US Treasury Secretary, supports Donald Trump's attitude to Bitcoin, the Facebook Coin Libra and other cryptocurrencies. In a press conference, the former Goldman Sachs employee told the US government's attitude to cryptocurrencies.

When it comes to the regulation of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the crypto community sometimes often looks across the pond. What does the US say about cryptocurrencies? What are the regulatory approaches of the Securities and Exchange Commission? What's up with the Facebook Coin Libra? Steven Mnuchin spoke on behalf of the Trump government on 15 July.

Steven Mnuchin: Libra could be used for money laundering

The nearly 30-minute statement by the US Treasury Department begins with a statement on the planned by the Zuckerberg Group cryptocurrency. Accordingly, Steven Mnuchin comments on Libra as well as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies:

The US Treasury has expressed very serious concerns that [Facebooks] Libra can be used by money launderers and for terrorist financing. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have been exploited for billions of dollars for illegal activities such as cybercrime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illegal drugs, human trafficking.

Since Bitcoin & Co. served all these illegal activities, they are, according to Mnuchin, "a matter of national security."

The US government is unwilling to let users of cryptocurrencies trade underground. Thus, Bitcoin exchanges and crypto companies would have to follow the same rules as other financial institutions. These include above all the anti-money laundering laws (Anti Money Laundering = AML) as well as the know-your-customer-rules (Know Your Customer = KYC).

Bitcoin is hot air: Ministry of Finance in line with Donald Trump

In addition, all companies involved in cryptocurrency must register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a department of the Treasury Department against economic crimes. Finally, Mnuchin continued, the Ministry of Finance shares Donald Trump's view:

As the President said, Bitcoin is highly volatile and based on hot air. We are concerned about the speculative nature of Bitcoin and will ensure that the US financial system is protected from fraud.

In particular, the international nature of cryptocurrencies requires that the authorities cooperate on a supranational level:

The Ministry of Finance takes the role of the US dollar as the world's key currency very seriously and we will continue our efforts to protect our country and to safeguard US and international finance.

The Ministry of Finance has already spoken with the regulatory authorities about the planned Facebook Coin. The discussions proceeded accordingly. If Facebook works with "proper AML", they could do their project. But there is still a lot of work needed.

US Treasury warns of Bitcoin investment

Asked by a reporter what Bitcoin is paying attention to, Steven Mnuchin warned of "evil actors":

You should be careful. One should be clear in what one invests. There are a lot of good things to invest in. Our main concern, however, is that no evil actors use cryptocurrencies. To a large extent, these cryptocurrencies were used for illegal acts and speculation.

But anyone who fancies doing Bitcoin Illegales will be caught:

When dealing with a legitimate entity in the US, these legitimate crypto-related entities are also subject to KYC rules and AML. If you use Bitcoin and go through these entities to go to the Dark Web and think you will not get caught: you'll get caught. That's a warning. If you want to use it for speculation, that's one thing. But if you use it for illegal things, we will put the full effort of the Ministry of Finance and regulators in place.

Finally, the Venezuelan cryptocurrency Petro comes up in the subsequent question and answer session. This serves to circumvent the US sanctions against the South American country. However, Steven Mnuchin sees no danger in this:

I do not know anybody who actually uses [the Petro]. Or someone who had some success or something.

Did the US restrictions work? "Absolute".
(source: btc-echo.de)

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Dear @blockchainnerd

Discussions regarding Libra and Facebook are very intense lately and I personally don't know yet what to think about it.

I'm mostly interested how FED and other central banks will react if they will realize that Libra is a threat for current financial system.

Personally I will not put my trust in Facebook and I don't think I will ever use Libra. However I will surely pay attention to this project as it may turn our financial world up-side-down....

Important question I would like to ask you, and hopefully you would share your own opinion:

  • many people out there seem to see Libra as a threat to current monetary system. I'm one of those. However I've learned that global economy is build on debt. And all debts are in FIAT currency. So does it really matter if people use Libra to pay for their "groceries" and shop online? They still need to pay all their debts and mortgages for next 20-30 years in their local fiat currency.

For that reason alone I cannot see monetary system being changed much. Neither by libra or bitcoin or any other crypto. Debts, goverment expenses, trade oil - all of it will still require $$$.

What do you think? Upvote on the way.

Yours,
Piotr

Hello @crypto.piotr,

First i want to thank you for the time and effort you took to reply to my post.

I think you wrote it the way i see it too. The global financial system based on debt and fiat is the cancer of all financial freedom. Also i don't see any changes to this issue by involving the libra.

My theory is that Facebook/Libra and the Government of the USA are working together and all this hearings are just a big show. I think the US gov would love to be in control of 2bil Libra users.

Appreciate your awesome reply @blockchainnerd

First i want to thank you for the time and effort you took to reply to my post.

Seriously pleasure is all mine. I love topics related to blockchain and AI and we seem to share similar passion :)

I think the US gov would love to be in control of 2bil Libra users.

Now real question is: how many of those 2bil facebook users would actually use libra? Why people assume that almost 100% of their userbase would.

I would be surprissed if more than 5-10% would ever try Libra. Majority FB users do not use anything but messanger. MAjority FB users do not trust Facebook any more. Whoever I talk to says the same: I would never use Libra and I do not trust FB.

I also wanted to make some suggestion.

My impression is, that the hardest part of attracting attention on STEEMIT is the fact, that our audience have very little chance to actually find our publications. Lack of solid notification system is an obvious issue. And regardless how hard I would try - there is very little chance I would find out about your new interesting publications (my feed is just flooded with to many posts).

Please allow me to share some suggestion with you. If you would ever publish content related to blockchain, crypto, artificial intelligence, psychology etc. then perhaps you could simply send me memo with link to that post.

This way not only I would have a chance to read your publication, drop a comment but I will also `upvote it right away with almost 20k SP voting power (I also have almost 10k PAL tokens, which may give you some extra benefits is you're using PALnet.io)

Please let me know what do you think. This surely should sound like a interesting offer :))

Cheers, Piotr

Now real question is: how many of those 2bil facebook users would actually use libra? Why people assume that almost 100% of their userbase would.

sure there will not be that much as 100% but it could get viral.

I would be surprissed if more than 5-10% would ever try Libra. Majority FB users do not use anything but messanger. MAjority FB users do not trust Facebook any more. Whoever I talk to says the same: I would never use Libra and I do not trust FB.

You may be right here. I think FB is going down and i never was into it. I don't trust this guy "Zuck" but the most FB users are not this critical.

My impression is, that the hardest part of attracting attention on STEEMIT is the fact, that our audience have very little chance to actually find our publications. Lack of solid notification system is an obvious issue.

I totaly agree.

Please allow me to share some suggestion with you. If you would ever publish content related to blockchain, crypto, artificial intelligence, psychology etc. then perhaps you could simply send me memo with link to that post.

I get your point. I may be try out to bring out a memo to you. But i can't send special memos on regular basis out due to lack of time. I surely appreciate your upvotes and comments.

Hi @blockchainnerd

I don't trust this guy "Zuck" but the most FB users are not this critical.

I'm personally not sure if the rest is not that critical. I'm moving around a lot and I talked with tons of different people about facebook and their libra. And all I could hear is: I would never trust facebook with my money.

Even people having little to do with blockchain, regular people having regular jobs seem to know that facebook is selling their data and their trust is very limited.

Of course time will tell.

I get your point. I may be try out to bring out a memo to you. But i can't send special memos on regular basis out due to lack of time. I surely appreciate your upvotes and comments.

Absolutely. However I would suggest to create an excel sheet with all your most supportive followers. And every now and then (not to often), whenever you would like to promote some publication - just send mass memos to all those people.

That would help. I'm sure it must be heartbreaking to see that your quality work doesn't attract much attention.

Yours, Piotr

Of course time will tell.

You know how some people are when they talk this and do other. Most people do not care about their privacy anymore and if a payment app is easy to use they will do it even if they know their data is sold to the gov and institutions.

Absolutely. However I would suggest to create an excel sheet with all your most supportive followers. And every now and then (not to often), whenever you would like to promote some publication - just send mass memos to all those people.

i need to look into this. right now i have no clue how to send a mass memo.

hi @blockchainnerd

right now i have no clue how to send a mass memo.

Check out this useful tool:
https://helloacm.com/tools/steemit/wallet/

Yours
Piotr