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US Treasury Secretary Nominee Hints at Brand New Crypto Environment

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 3 min read

The US Treasury secretary nominee Janet Yellen has made a splash in the Cryptoverse with her recent quotes about cryptocurrencies, but she actually made a few other points in her address yesterday that may affect and ultimately form an environment for crypto in the United States.

In July 2017, then-Fed Chair Janet Yellen was speaking to the House Financial Services Committee when Christian Langalis (22), more known as Bitcoin Sign Guy, held up a sign saying \”buy bitcoin.\”

All eyes in the crypto community turned toward the woman who is set to become the first female Secretary of the Treasury in American history and her hearing Tuesday before the Senate Finance Committee, in the hope of learning more about her stance on digital currencies.

Yellen, who had previously stated that she is not a fan of bitcoin (BTC), said that cryptocurrencies are a concern when it comes to terrorist financing, and that many are used for financing crime.

She said,

“I think we really need to examine ways in which we can curtail their use and make sure that anti-money laundering doesn’t occur through those channels.”

(However, according to Chainalysis, the criminal share of all cryptocurrency activity fell from 2.1% (USD 21.4bn) in 2019 to 0.34%, or USD 10bn in transaction volume in 2020.)

But Yellen discussed a range of other issues that could also affect crypto and the way the industry is regulated.

The nominee called for more action in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, stating, that “without further action, we risk a longer, more painful recession now and long-term scarring of the economy later,” adding that “with interest rates at historic lows, the smartest thing we can do is act big.”

More stimulus measures are expected for those impacted by the pandemic, with President-Elect Joe Biden proposing a USD 1.9 trillion economic plan that would include larger stimulus checks of USD 1,400 per person to eligible recipients, in addition to the USD 600 that was approved in December.

The already-substantial layoffs and those that are still yet to come will have “ripple effects through the economy as they contract their spending and create further job losses throughout the economy,” Yellen stated.

To accomplish all of the Biden administration’s goals, such as vaccine distribution, reopening of schools and businesses and more, Yellen argued that more aid and “more funding” would be needed.

As reported, the need for more funding and stimulus measures announced last year prompted many to accuse Washington of ‘money printer go brrr‘ tactics.

Yellen further suggested that there may be tax increases on wealthy Americans and corporations, but that the focus now was firmly on providing relief.

Another thing that will be discussed after the economy has recovered is America’s reported USD 27.7trn debt load and its over-USD 3.1trn budget deficit.

While Donald Trump was for a weaker dollar, Joe Biden’s regime seems to be in favor of fostering a strong greenback.

“The United States does not seek a weaker currency to gain competitive advantage, and we should oppose attempts by other countries to do so,” Yellen said. “The intentional targeting of exchange rates to gain commercial advantage is unacceptable.”

The US, it seems, will maintain a tough stance on China, using “the full array of our tools” to fight issues such as “undercutting American companies by dumping products, erecting trade barriers and giving illegal subsidies to corporations,” as well as “stealing intellectual property and engaging in practices that give it an unfair technological advantage, including forced technology transfers,” said Yellen.

Her comments come as controversy rumbled on about a proposed new wallet rules that seeks to impose additional customer reporting requirements on cryptocurrency-related businesses.

A vote on Yellen’s candidacy is slated to take place in the Senate on Thursday.
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