The private industry invests a lot of resources to enable the government to fight crypto crimes, according to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. But, Yellen is concerned about cryptocurrency’s supposed criminal element.
In her February 10 remarks to a financial sector innovation roundtable, Yellen said that the misuse of cryptos and virtual assets has become a persistent challenge coupled with cyberattacks that were triggered by the global pandemic. The US Treasury Secretary said that despite the potential that the new technologies like cryptos possess, the assets are still linked to major financial and security risks.
“I see the promise of these new technologies, but I also see the reality: cryptocurrencies have been used to launder the profits of online drug traffickers; they’ve been a tool to finance terrorism.”
According to the government official, the private sector has been making considerable contributions to the authorities’ efforts to fight crypto-related crimes.
“From my time at the Fed, I know the crucial role your institutions play in combating crimes like these. The private sector invests enormous resources, finding ways to stop bad actors from misusing existing technologies. You also develop new ones.”
In the official statement, Yellen also insisted on the need for equitable innovation” to help in bringing extensive benefits of the financial system and modern IT to more people around America. She believes that the equitable innovation approach can become symbiotic with the Treasury Department’s existing motto of “responsible innovation.”
Despite Yellen alleging that misuse of cryptocurrency has been a ‘growing problem,’ the amount of crypto-linked crimes has dropped since 2021. Chainalysis reports indicate that the criminal share of all crypto activity last year fell to just 0.34%. in 2019, criminal activity in the nascent space represented at least 2% of crypto transaction volumes, according to the largest crypto intelligence firm in the U.S.
Last month, the US Department of Justice impounded $500K in crypto from a major malware operator with the assistance from Chainalysis.