Incoming Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has a mixed record when it comes to her personal statements on Bitcoin and crypto.
In 2015, for instance, the Biden appointee – then chair of the Federal Reserve – responded to questions from members of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services. In her responses, Yellen appeared to encourage responsible regulation of digital assets that wouldn’t hamper innovation.
“The costs and benefits of developing new statutes or regulations related to digital currencies should be weighed carefully. New regulation, such as the creation of special licenses for digital currency providers, may work to strengthen the soundness of virtual currency schemes and increase public trust in the products, as some may refrain from investing in or using digital currencies due to a perceived legal uncertainty and/or lack of consumer protection.
On the other hand, new regulation would need to be flexible enough to address effectively the evolving nature of digital currency systems and technology while not stifling innovation.”
However, three years later at the Montreal Fintech Forum, Yellen said many of BTC’s transactions are related to criminal activities such as terrorist financing and money laundering. She also flatly stated that she is “not a fan” of BTC.
Since that time, multiple research reports including one from defense and aerospace company BAE Systems have found the use of cryptocurrencies to launder money is minute compared to cash.
Yellen also said she doesn’t believe Bitcoin can store wealth or become a viable payments system.
“It’s not used for a lot of transactions. It’s not a stable source of value and it’s also not an efficient means for processing payments. It’s very slow in handling payments.”
Yellen, who will be the first woman to head the Treasury Department, is expected to continue to pump money into the capital markets in an effort to stimulate the economy.
Her selection was widely welcomed by Wall Street, which rallied as news of her selection spread in November.Don't Miss a Beat – Subscribe to get email alerts delivered directly to your inbox
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