U.S. Treasury Secretary Reiterates ‘Skepticism’ of Digital Assets but Acknowledges the Crypto Space Has Benefits

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen still feels a bit skeptical about crypto, but she acknowledges that the digital asset space offers value.

In a new interview with CNBC, Yellen says that crypto has grown by “leaps and bounds” and is now playing a significant role in many Americans’ investment choices.

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“I have a little bit of skepticism because I think there are valid concerns around it. Some have to do with financial stability, consumer/investor protection, use for illicit transactions and other things.

On the other hand, there have been benefits from crypto, and we recognize that innovation in the payments system can be a healthy thing. We would like to come out eventually with recommendations that will create a regulatory environment in which healthy innovation can thrive.”

In previous public comments, Yellen has highlighted the potential negative aspects of digital assets. Speaking at a confirmation hearing with the U.S. Senate Finance Committee in early 2021, she said cryptocurrencies were “a particular concern.”

“I think many are used, at least in a transaction 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 anti-money laundering doesn’t occur through those channels.”

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