Cryptocurrencies and digital property used for illicit functions are a rising downside, US treasury secretary says.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned about an “explosion of risk” from digital markets, together with the misuse of cryptocurrencies, however mentioned new monetary applied sciences might additionally assist battle crime and cut back inequality.
In remarks to a monetary sector innovation roundtable, Yellen mentioned on Wednesday that such applied sciences might be used to stem the stream of darkish cash from organised crime and battle again in opposition to hackers, but additionally to scale back digital gaps within the United States.
She mentioned the passage of the Anti-Money Laundering Act in December would enable the Treasury Department to transform a framework for combatting illicit finance that has been largely unchanged because the 1970s.
“The update couldn’t have come at a better time,” Yellen informed policymakers, regulators and personal sector specialists. “We’re living amidst an explosion of risk related to fraud, money laundering, terrorist financing, and data privacy.”
She referred to as the misuse of cryptocurrencies and digital property a rising downside.
The COVID-19 pandemic had triggered extra – and extra refined – cyberattacks aimed toward hospitals, faculties, banks and the federal government itself, she mentioned.
Cryptocurrencies and digital property supplied promise, however that they had additionally been used to launder the earnings of on-line drug traffickers and to finance “terrorism”.
Innovation within the sector might assist tackle these issues whereas giving thousands and thousands of individuals entry to the monetary system, she mentioned.
Yellen, who has promised to prioritise preventing inequality and disparities, mentioned the pandemic had uncovered big issues, together with the dearth of broadband entry in lots of areas of the nation.
She mentioned accountable and equitable innovation might make an enormous distinction.
“Innovation should not just be a shield to protect against bad actors. Innovation should also be a ladder to help more people climb to a higher quality of life,” she mentioned.