Janet Yellen is keeping true to form as a crypto critic and has linked cryptocurrencies to terrorist financing and money laundering. Meanwhile, another report has emerged showing that virtual currencies only account for an insignificant proportion of global financial crimes.
Yellen Espouses Well-Worn Crypto FUD
Speaking during her virtual confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate, Janet Yellen — President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for the Treasury Department — identified cryptos as a concern in terms of terrorist financing and money laundering.
Doubling down on her anti-crypto rhetoric, Yellen remarked:
“I think many [cryptocurrencies] are used, at least in transactions sense, mainly for illicit financing and I think we really need to examine ways in which we can curtail their use and make sure that money laundering doesn’t occur through those channels.”
According to Yellen, if confirmed, her leadership of the Treasury Department will focus on dealing with crypto-related terrorism financing, adding:
“The technologies to accomplish this change over time and we need to make sure that our methods for dealing with these matters, with tech terrorist financing, change along with changing technology, cryptocurrencies are a particular concern.”
As previously reported by CryptoPotato, Yellen is a known crypto critic. Back in 2018, she described Bitcoin as “anything but useful.” She has also countered claims of BTC being a store of value.
Cryptocurrency Crime Grossly Overstated
Yellen’s remarks are a common refrain among members of the mainstream financial establishment. However, the entire record of crypto forensic investigations do not support the claim that virtual currencies are the preferred channel for criminals and terrorists.
As part of the highlights of its upcoming 2020 crypto crime report, blockchain intelligence firm revealed that criminal transactions in the cryptocurrency space fell to 0.34% in 2020. This figure represents an even smaller percentage than the 2.1% recorded in 2019.
Reacting to Yellen’s statements, several crypto stakeholders were quick to dismiss her claims with verifiable data. Morgan Creek digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano tweeted:
“Janet Yellen stated today that cryptocurrencies are concerning because of terrorist financing and money laundering. She forgot to mention that the US dollar is the choice currency of criminals around the world. The large banks launder more money than [the] entire Bitcoin market cap.”
Indeed, in its report from 2020, SWIFT revealed that crypto-related money laundering was only a drop in the ocean compared to the volume of dirty money funneled via banks. Back in May 2020, Chainalysis also issued a report debunking claims that terrorist group ISIS held $300 million in Bitcoin.
Featured image courtesy of CNBC.