The main argument used by many critics of cryptocurrencies is that digital assets are used for fraudulent and nefarious activities. This was recently cited by Steve Mnuchin, the United States’s Treasury Secretary, who said that Bitcoin and the rest of the cryptocurrency market would be subject to the same level of jurisdiction that fiat money is used to.
One key remark made by the government official was that fiat currency ergo cash, was not used for illegal activities. Mnuchin even pushed back at the CNBC panel who were claiming that cash was the main standard for criminals when Bitcoin was not even in the picture. Mnuchin had retorted,
“I don’t think fiat currency has been successfully used as a tool by bad actors. We have one of the strongest AML systems in the world and are working to ensure that illegal activities do not occur.”
However, Gabor Gurbacs, Digital Asset Strategist at VanEck, soon tweeted and pointed out that the Treasury Secretary was going against the Treasury’s own report. The report said,
“Criminal actors involved in drug trafficking, human smuggling and trafficking, illicit retail transactions, and various activities associate with organized crime continue to prefer US currency-denominated cash due to its widespread use in the US as well as its global use due its wide acceptance as a stable store of value and medium of exchange.”
The aforementioned statement was part of the 2018 report by the US Treasury titled, “National Money Laundering Risk Assessment.”
Mnuchin’s attacks on the cryptocurrency market were also made evident when he stated,
“Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity like cyber-crime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illicit drugs, and human trafficking. Many players have attempted to use cryptocurrencies to fund their malignant behavior. This is indeed a national security issue.”
Parties involved in the cryptoverse have not taken Mnuchin’s comments sitting down as Messari.io soon published a report comparing the U.S dollar’s contribution towards fraud against Bitcoin. Messari claimed that for every US dollar in Bitcoin spent on the darknet, at least $800 is laundered.
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