Janet Yellen, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, is expected to take a hard stance on cryptocurrencies, calling digital currency a “particular concern” that is used “mainly for illicit financing,” Arstechnica and other news outlets reported on Thursday (Jan. 21).
“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,” Yellen said before the Senate Finance Committee, according to CoinDesk. If confirmed, she will be the first woman named Treasury Secretary.
The anonymity of the blockchain and lack of oversight makes it a magnet for cyberthieves. No individual agency controls blockchain-based financial networks, and it’s hard to enforce adherence to money laundering legislation.
Regulators in the U.S. and abroad have concentrated on bitcoin exchanges that facilitate trading, enabling law enforcement to follow the money via the blockchain network’s open payment ledger.
The former Federal Reserve chair also said she was going to be aggressive on climate change and could launch a task force to look into financial risks stemming from climate change and related tax incentives.
“Climate change is an existential threat,” Yellen told the committee, per Politico. “Both the impact of climate change itself and policies to address it could have major impacts, creating stranded assets, generating large changes in asset prices, credit risks and so forth that could affect the financial system. These are very real risks.”
In the October AML/KYC Tracker by PYMNTS, Amit Sagiv and Volodymyr Tsukur, co-heads of Wix Payments, discuss the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning play in AML compliance.