US Treasury Secretary: Libra is involved in “national security” and may be abused by terrorists

On Monday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a press conference saying that Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra “may be abused by money launderers and terrorists” and that this is a “national security issue”.

According to CNNB, Mnuchin also mentioned other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. He said that "cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have been used to support billions of dollars in illegal activities such as cybercrime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, Drugs and human trafficking."

Facebook's encryption project, Libra, has been at the center of the global regulatory storm since its launch on June 18. In the past week, the regulatory situation has become more and more tense. Federal Reserve Chairman Powell and US President Trump have stated that the US Congress is also discussing a draft bill to prevent technology giants from entering the financial sector.

The US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin chose to hold a press conference the day before the Senate and House of Representatives on Libra's hearing, which also showed government and regulatory attention to Facebook's Libra project. Mnuchin spoke at the press conference about US President Trump’s statement. He said, "Because it involves bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the president is really worried."

He advises investors to be “cautious” before buying bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, and there are “many other things to invest in.” Mnuchin said the Treasury has clearly told Facebook and Bitcoin users that they need to implement the same financial institutions as other financial institutions. Anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing measures.

Mnuchin said it may take some time to wait for US approval. “They and others have a lot of work to do before we feel comfortable,” he said.

"With regard to Facebook's Libra and other developments in cryptocurrencies, our primary goal is to preserve the integrity of our financial system and protect it from abuse," he said. “This is indeed a national security issue. We will not allow digital asset service providers to operate outside of regulation.”

Facebook Blockchain Supervisor David Marcus will attend the Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday and attend the House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday. Marcus said in a letter last week that Facebook needs the government, the central bank and related regulators to work together to launch digital assets, and Facebook "cannot do this alone."

Image source: pixabay

By Xiu MU

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