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US Treasury Secretary announces significant crypto regulations

By Yana Berman

Steven Mnuchin reveals that the Treasury will roll out new requirements for crypto transactions

Steve Mnuchin, right. Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

The US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has revealed that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) will soon introduce new crypto regulations.

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During a Senate Finance Committee hearing, Senator Maggie Hassan (Democrat from New Hampshire) asked Mnuchin about the Treasury's plans to combat illicit crypto activities.

In particular, she wanted to know whether the increased regulator's budget would be used to monitor suspicious crypto transactions and prosecute terrorists who use digital currencies.

Mnuchin responded that some "significant new requirements" were already on the way. He refrained from commenting on particular amendments but admitted that both the Treasury and FinCEN are spending a lot of time to develop the regulations.

He also revealed that the work involved other US regulators. It was not immediately clear which specific watchdogs he bore in mind, but traditionally the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) are the most active in crypto space.

Mnuchin stressed that the new regulations should not hinder the development of the industry.

"We want to make sure that technology moves forward but, on the other hand, we want to make sure that cryptocurrencies aren't used for the equivalent of old Swiss secret-number bank accounts," he said.

The discussion came as US President Donald Trump has recently proposed a $127m (£98m, €116m) budget allowance to help fight the financing of terrorism, money laundering and to combat crypto crime. The significant amount will purportedly be allocated to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to combat emerging virtual currency and cybercrime threats.

FURTHER READING: Trump's budget requests funds to combat illegal effects of virtual currencies

FURTHER READING: Crypto industry clamps down on suspicious activities

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