US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Thinks Outlook for Bitcoin Is Bleak

Daniel Kuhn
Jul 24, 2019 at 16:00 UTC
Updated Jul 24, 2019 at 16:38 UTC
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U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin commented on cryptocurrency’s future viability, in an interview on Wednesday.

“I can assure you I will personally not be loaded up on bitcoin in 10 years,” Mnuchin said on CNBC’s Squawk Box. “I would bet even in five to six years I won’t even be talking about bitcoin as Treasury Secretary.”

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.”

On July 18, Mnuchin erroneously claimed that fiat currencies are not vehicles for money laundering, while “there are billions of dollars of transactions going on in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for illicit purposes.”

Several media outlets – including Squawk Box anchor  Joe Kernan, at the time – responded with incredulity. Tom Robinson, CEO of research firm Elliptic, wrote an OpEd for VentureBeat claiming, “Less than 0.5 percent of bitcoin transactions are used for illicit purchases.”

While Mnuchin seems to think crypto’s future is bleak, he continues to bat for the U.S. dollar.

Mnuchin added later in today’s interview, “I think the dollar is the reserve currency in the world. It’s in our interest. We want to maintain it.”

Steven Mnuchin photo via Shutterstock