US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said that the federal government is investigating cases of illegal use of bitcoin.
In conversation with Yahoo Finance, Mnuchin stressed that this issue should be studied “very carefully”, adding that it is extremely important to make sure that bitcoin is not used to finance illegal activities.
“It’s something we are looking at very carefully and will continue to look at,” he said. “The first issue and the most important issue is to make sure that people can’t use bitcoin for illicit activities. So we want to make sure that you don’t have the dark web funded in bitcoins. And that’s something that is a concern of ours today.”
Mnuchin noted that they are dealing with this issue together with colleagues from other countries.
He also stressed that companies working with bitcoin in the United States are required to follow the requirements of the banking secrecy law, as well as adhere to the best practices in the field of customer identification. Only this, in his opinion, will eliminate the risks of money laundering and fraud.
“And again [bitcoin is] something we’ll be watching very carefully,” Mnuchin stressed.
The Minister of Finance informed that there are no specific deadlines for the publication of new announcements on the subject of cryptocurrency, but the working group is actively studying this important issue.
It is noteworthy that the announcement was made only a few days after the US Treasury announced its plans to test practices that the Financial Crimes Network (FinCEN) adheres to in the field of crypto-currency.
Meanwhile, this year’s rally of price bitcoins attracted the attention of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which says that too few people report incomes connected with crypto-currencies in tax returns.
In addition, the IRS has taken bitcoin exchange Coinbase to court to force the company to hand over customer records so they can prosecute bitcoin tax cheats.