Janet Yellen, President Joe Biden’s U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee, seems to have balanced her statements about Bitcoin and crypto, after her previous negative rhetoric about the emerging technology.
Janet Yellen Acknowledges Crypto’s Benefits
In a written response to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on Thursday (Jan. 21, 2021), Yellen stated that cryptocurrencies had benefits that needed to be explored. Yellen added that the emerging technology had the potential to “improve the efficiency of the financial system.”
While Yellen believed that Bitcoin and other crypto assets had attributes that could benefit the country, the U.S. Treasury Secretary Nominee noted that they were also used for money laundering activities and terrorist financing.
An excerpt from Yellen’s statement reads:
“I think we need to look closely at how to encourage their use for legitimate activities while curtailing their use for malign and illegal activities. If confirmed, I intend to work closely with the Federal Reserve Board and the other federal banking and securities regulators on how to implement an effective regulatory framework for these and other fintech innovations.”
Yellen’s acknowledgment of crypto’s potentials and call for a robust regulatory framework for the industry indicates a balanced approach to crypto. Meanwhile, Yellen’s current statement is quite different from the response she gave in an earlier confirmation hearing.
As previously reported by CryptoPotato, Yellen identified cryptos as a concern, and believed that many were used for money laundering and terrorist financing. Yellen, who is a known crypto critic, was nominated by President Joe Biden back in November 2020.
While Yellen’s previous and current statements mention the use of crypto for illicit activities, investigations show that such claims are exaggerated. A recent report by blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis revealed that crypto-related crime dropped to 0.34% in 2020.
Biden Names New SEC Acting Chairman
In another development, a press release by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that President Joe Biden named Allison Herren Lee as the SEC Acting Chairman. Biden earlier nominated Gary Gensler, a former Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), as the new SEC chairman, pending confirmation from the Senate.
Herren Lee, who was a former Trump appointee, replaces Elad Roisman as Acting Chairman. Meanwhile, there is little to no knowledge about Herren Lee’s stance on crypto. It is also difficult to speculate her position regarding issues like bitcoin ETF and crypto securities regulations. Gensler, however, is no stranger to crypto.