At a recent hearing of the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, Senator Mitt Romney expressed concerns about the potential of Bitcoin as a threat to national security. FBI Director Christopher Wray said that cryptocurrency is a concern that "will get bigger and bigger."
Read also: Crypto secures wealth by empowering people
What Mitt does not know could affect crypto
As more and more countries begin to experiment or talk about the development of their own digital currencies (CBDCs), and the regulation of cryptography in general, the subject of truly unauthorized crypto, such as bitcoin, is the 39, subject of fierce debate. According to a Forbes report, the Republican senator from Utah was certainly in the dark about the nature of crypto-currencies, but nonetheless concerned about Tuesday's hearing. Addressing homeland security, the National Counter Terrorism Center and FBI leaders, Romney said:
I am not part of the Banking Committee. I do not begin to understand how cryptocurrency works. I think it's harder to do your job when you can not track the money because the money is hidden …
The FBI director noted that the agency was considering cryptography "from the point of view of the survey, including the tools we need to track the money". Although citing the increasing efficiency with which criminals are able to use the emerging tools of technology and anonymization, Wray was nonetheless reluctant to commit to making statements about draft regulations saying, "Well, for us, cryptocurrency is already a big problem and we can predict quite easily that it will get bigger and bigger. Whether or not it is subject to regulation, the answer is harder for me. "
Balance, money without permission and CBDC
As Facebook's ongoing struggle for Libra seems to demonstrate, US regulators are in no hurry to let anyone out with its own digital currency. Even some people who are generally opposed to Facebook could not help but take pity on CEO Mark Zuckerberg as he faced a bipartite grid of several hours during a hearing on October 23rd. Asked about the record of invasion of user privacy and other flaws in Facebook, Zuckerberg presented his case, stating that Libra was:
The vision here is to make sure that people can send money as easily and cheaply as sending a text message.
The theme of digital currency, easy to use, is gaining popularity, and even central banks are getting on the bandwagon. Legislators have lobbied politically on US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, calling for an opening to the eventual development of a US digital currency and at least 40 other countries working on developing digital currencies around the world or considering doing so, according to a study by the Bank for International Settlements.
While the digital currencies of the central bank and Libra are in the spotlight, the government's real malaise seems to be centered on bitcoin and other decentralized and unauthorized variations of digital currency. Romney, like other legislators in the nation, is interested in compliance and crime. While the CBDCs would be easily monitored and controlled centrally, which would make money laundering and tax evasion difficult, crypto without permission facilitates disobedience to established laws. At the recent hearing, Romney said, "(I wonder if we should not make efforts in our country to fight against cryptocurrency."
What do you think of Romney and the FBI's remarks? Let us know in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Aaron-Schwartz, fair use.
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