Mnuchin Warns Against Bitcoin Becoming the Next ‘Swiss Bank Account’

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he will work with the Group of 20 nations to prevent cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin from becoming the digital equivalent of an anonymous Swiss bank account and ensure “bad people cannot use these currencies to do bad things.”

Under U.S. law, “if you have a wallet to own bitcoins, that company has the same obligation as a bank to know” you as a customer, he said Friday in Washington. “We can track those activities. The rest of the world doesn’t have that, so one of the things we will be working very closely with the G-20 is making sure that this doesn’t become the Swiss bank account.”

Mnuchin said U.S. authorities, including the Federal Reserve, were studying the pros and cons of issuing digital dollars instead of hard cash, but “the Fed and we don’t think there’s any need for that at this point.”

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