The U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, has said his department is looking into the illegal uses of bitcoin.
In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Mnuchin said the situation should be examined "very carefully," stressing it is important to ensure that bitcoin is not used for "illicit purposes."
"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."
The issue is one he is discussing with international counterparts, he said.
Mnuchin added that bitcoin dealers in the U.S. must comply with know-your-customer and Bank Secrecy Act requirements, which are aimed to counter money laundering and fraud.
Regarding Treasury's stance on cryptocurrencies, the secretary indicated there is no timeline for any announcements, though he emphasized that government working groups are "looking into it."
The comments come only days after the Treasury revealed a plan to review the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's (FinCEN) cryptocurrency practices.
The department said at the time: "We plan to determine how FinCEN identifies, prioritizes, and addresses money laundering and terrorist financing risks associated with virtual currencies."
Steven Mnuchin image via Shutterstock