Crypto is a ‘national security issue’, says US treasury secretary

The US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has revealed his concerns about the perceived mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies and Facebook's Libra coin

United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has claimed that Facebook’s proposed Libra coin, and cryptocurrencies in general, pose a “national security issue”.

Mnuchin, 56, was a former investment banker and hedge fund manager before joining the Trump administration.

His comments echo the sentiments of his president, who claimed last week that crypto was “based on thin-air” in a series of scathing comments.

Speaking at a briefing at the White House, Mnuchin said: “This is indeed a national security issue. We will not allow digital asset service providers to operate in the shadows.”

Facebook executive David Marcus admitted that Libra “will not be offered” until the social media giant has “fully addressed regulatory concerns and received appropriate approvals”.

In response to Marcus, Mnuchin did state that Facebook is “being very candid with the administration and where they are”, however he revealed that “they and others have a lot of work to do before they get us comfortable”.

The treasury secretary then said that Trump has “legitimate concerns” about crypto and advised investors to “be careful” before buying Bitcoin, claiming that “there’s a lot of good things to invest in” outside of crypto.

“I have no idea why Bitcoin trades where it is,” Mnuchin added.

“I’m not commenting whether it’s high or it’s low.”

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