On Thursday, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called for increased oversight of the cryptocurrency market. This comes after the US President, Joe Biden, gave a green signal to launch an American digital dollar in the market. Digital currencies like bitcoin and Ethereum have witnessed surmounting growth in recent years, especially since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Undeniably, this sudden interest gain has made American officials express their concerns about its regulation and usage for criminal and fraudulent activities.
In her speech at the American University in Washington, Janet Yellen voiced her concerns around the same. She called for better regulation on such assets to ensure consumer protection while allowing for innovation around leading-edge technologies.
She said, “As banks and other traditional financial firms become more involved in digital asset markets, regulatory frameworks will need to appropriately reflect the risks of these new activities.” She continued, “And, new types of intermediaries, such as digital asset exchanges and other digital native intermediaries, should be subject to appropriate forms of oversight.”
Joe Biden considered the US one of the 100 countries trying to explore possibilities around cryptocurrency and has launched pilot programs around their central bank digital currency. The government is also looking to expand the taxation of cryptocurrencies. In fact, Congress has already passed a $1 trillion national infrastructure overhaul to expand the provisioning around digital assets. This comes after the governments have fretted the use of cryptocurrencies for illicit activities.
On Tuesday, Germany closed doors for the Russian illegal darknet marketplace, Hydra, one of the biggest Russian-language markets in the world and seized worth $25 million. The site was sanctioned by US Treasury and Garantex, a virtual currency exchange service provider. It was said that the site was used to collect ransomware payments. Janet Yellen called for a tech-neutral stance for regulations on such digital assets while protecting consumers and ensuring technology transformation.
She remarked, “In many cases, regulators have authorities they can use to promote these objectives, and Treasury supports those efforts. To the extent there are gaps, we will make policy recommendations, including assessment of potential regulatory actions and legislative changes.”