U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a government body that assesses financial system risks, has formed a working group focused on cryptocurrencies.
Mnuchin remarked on the process during an appearance at The Economic Club in Washington, D.C. after being asked about the topic of bitcoin.
"We are very focused on cryptocurrencies," Mnuchin explained, pointing to discussions with other regulators within the U.S. government and later stating: "We want to make sure that bad people cannot use these currencies to do bad things."
Mnuchin added that the issue was one that the U.S. government would engage with the G-20 international group as well. As previously reported, Mnuchin's French counterpart called for more action from the G-20 in December, highlighting "a risk of speculation" at the time.
On that subject of speculation, Mnuchin said that he is concerned about the issue as well.
"I want to make sure that consumers who are trading this understand the risks because I am concerned that consumers could get hurt."
During the remarks, Mnuchin also suggested that the Federal Reserve is unlikely to develop its own digital version of fiat currency – a topic under discussion at a number of central banks worldwide – in the near future.
"The Fed and we don't think there's a need for that at this point," Mnuchin said.
See below for a recording of Mnuchin's remarks (with the relevant section beginning at 4:55).
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