Mnuchin joins chorus against Facebook cryptocurrency

Mnuchin joins chorus against Facebook cryptocurrency

Mnuchin said USA regulators have already expressed concerns to Facebook about the plan for a global cryptocurrency, noting that these kinds of virtual coins have in the past been associated with money laundering and illicit activities. "This is indeed a national security issue".

"Mnuchin said the Treasury Department, "...has been very clear to Facebook, Bitcoin users and other providers of digital financial services that they must implement...the same AML/CFT safeguards as traditional financial institutions".

Bitcoin pared an earlier decline after Mnuchin's comments, and was down 9.6 percent to $10,765.78 at 2:42 p.m.in NY.

He is far from the first official to express skepticism. The most recent, which could put its future in jeopardy again, is the US Treasury's serious concern about Libra and other cryptocurrencies.

In her opinion, that's "a perfectly valid experiment for Facebook to be involved in, and not at all one that members of the United States government should have any reason to comment on (or care about)".

Marcus presented a written statement ahead of a hearing held by the US Congress House Financial Services Committee.

David Marcus, the Facebook executive leading the project, says in his testimony prepared for Tuesday's hearing by the Senate Banking Committee that Libra "is about developing a safe, secure and low-priced way for people to move money efficiently around the world". Munchin reflected his boss' view and said Facebook had "a lot of work to do" before it could launch a digital currency. "We know we need to take the time to get this right", Marcus, who is also due to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, will say.

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Libra has sparked global concern from politicians since Facebook announced its plans for the new technology in June, provoking questions about how the company will navigate government regulation and oversight, existing government-backed currencies, criminal use and privacy.

"The United States has been at the forefront of regulating entities that provide cryptocurrencies".

Early Friday, Trump tweeted a barrage of anti-Bitcoin sentiment.

"Bitcoin is highly volatile and based on thin air", Mnuchin said. "We believe that Libra can make real progress toward building a more inclusive financial infrastructure".

"I'm not gonna comment on any specific group...but will tell you that FinCEN has multiple investigations going on..."

These are the first whispers of Facebook's intentions to comply with the moratorium called for by USA legislators. And sometimes, people fear the unknown, or at the very least, can have their opinions easily swayed by public opinion if they aren't familiar with the subject themselves. At the time, Trump said cryptocurrencies are used in "unlawful" activities such as drug trafficking. "If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks", Trump tweeted.

Mnuchin said the president has "legitimate concerns". "There's a lot of good things to invest in", he said.

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