Janet Yellen, the new US Treasury Secretary in Joe Biden's administration, has just made some rather revealing statements regarding cryptocurrencies.
During a roundtable on innovation in the financial sector, the US Treasury Secretary has said the misuse of cryptocurrencies and virtual assets has been a growing problem along with cyber-attacks caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
While she acknowledged new technologies such as cryptos have great potential, she also noted these types of assets are still associated with great risks. In particular, Yellen said:
"I see the promise of these new technologies, but I also see the reality: cryptocurrencies have been used to launder the profits of online drug traffickers; they’ve been a tool to finance terrorism."
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The Treasury Secretary has revealed the private sector has made a major contribution to the government's efforts to fight crypto-related crime.
Notably, while Yellen has said the use of cryptocurrencies for criminal purposes is a "growing problem," cryptocurrency-related crime actually declined during 2020. According to Chainalysis, the criminal proportion of all crypto activity in 2020 fell to just 0.34%, well below the 2% recorded in 2019.