Cryptocurrencies were identified as a “particular concern” when it comes to terrorism funding by Janet Yellen, who has been tapped to head the Treasury Department for the upcoming Biden Administration.
“I think many are used at least in a transactions sense mainly for illicit finance,” she said, stating that the government should find a way to curb money laundering in cryptocurrencies.
Yellen on Bitcoin
Yellen has spoken dismissively of Bitcoin in her former role as Chair of the Federal Reserve and claimed she is “not a fan.”
Cryptocurrency, though, is unlikely to be a first order concern for Yellen, who is supposed to be appointed in the immediate future to her post as Treasury Secretary. She said her initial priority at Tuesday’s Senate hearing will be on supporting American employees and companies affected hard by the pandemic.
While the cryptocurrency industry is likely to interpret Yellen’s recent comments as a reason for alarm, it is also hopeful that another Biden appointee would send them a future federal government champion: incoming SEC Commissioner Gary Gensler. Gensler is known to be extremely knowledgeable in the crypto world.
As for Yellen, her remarks come at a moment when the federal government is implementing contentious new laws that place on cryptocurrency firms extra consumer reporting criteria.
Who is Janet Yellen?
Janet Louise Yellen is an American economist who, as the first woman to fill the position, was the 15th chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018. She is a professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Management.
From 2010 to 2014, she was vice-chair. President-elect Joe Biden has stated that he would designate Yellen to act as US Treasury Secretary in his Cabinet.
From 1994 to 1997 and again from 2010 to 2018, Yellen was a member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve. From 1997 to 1999, she headed the Council of Economic Advisors under President Bill Clinton and was president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank from 2004 to 2010.
In 2014, President Barack Obama named Yellen to replace Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chairman. From 2014 to 2018, she completed one term and was not re-appointed by President Donald Trump.
With Yellen as chair, on December 16, 2015, the Federal Reserve raised its main interest rate. It was the first time since 2006 that the primary interest rate was boosted.
Yellen claimed that it would be unacceptable to weaken or abolish the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Rights Act following the election of President Donald Trump in November 2016.
From a labor market standpoint, Yellen was one of the most influential chairs of the Federal Reserve System. The unemployment rate fell from 6.7 percent to 4.1 percent during her term, the lowest in 17 years. This is the first time the economy has added workers to the lifetime of any Fed chair during each month.
Meanwhile, inflation remained below the annual 2 percent goal of the Fed, which has led to believe that without the river, the Federal Reserve may have done more to help the economy.