Updated 28 Jul, 2021

Ex-Treasury Secretary Mnuchin on Bitcoin: “My View Has Evolved”


Key Takeaways:

  • Steven Mnuchin has improved his view on Bitcoin
  • The underlying technology is “pretty incredible” but Mnuchin thinks regulation is needed

Former Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin elaborated on Bitcoin and its adoption into mainstream finance and economy. Speaking to CNBC, Mr. Mnuchin shared his view on the volatile digital currency has evolved compared with his previous stance when he was still the Treasury Secretary under the Trump administration.

Given the fact that the cryptocurrency market has expanded to include major US investment banks, institutional investors, and billionaires, perhaps it wouldn’t be surprising to find out Steven Mnuchin’s viewpoint on bitcoin has become more accommodative.

“My View Has Evolved a Little Bit”

“I think my view has evolved a little bit, but it is pretty consistent,” Mr. Mnuchin said in the interview last week.

He also compared Bitcoin, which has often been dubbed as digital gold, to the physical metal itself. “If people want to buy bitcoin as a substitute, no different than buying gold or some other asset, it’s fine. I don’t personally want to have it in my portfolio but if people want to that’s perfectly fine.”

The former Secretary of Treasury noted he considered the underlying technology of blockchain was “pretty incredible”. He had application in “lots of different things, particularly in fintech and finance.”

As the popularity of cryptos grows, so does the need for regulation. A flurry of regulatory activities has been gyrating among authorities and policymakers as they attempt to prevent illicit use, such as money laundering, through cryptocurrencies.

Mnuchin Thinks Bitcoin and Cryptos Must Be Regulated

On that note, Mr. Mnuchin added that under the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), last year “we approved banks could custodian it, and the reason we did that is because we wanted to make sure that this was becoming in the regulated world.”

The growing interest by the public to own bitcoin and other digital assets has prompted global financial bodies to introduce certain rules and requirements that would govern and oversee activities in the nascent crypto market.

Near the end of May, the Treasury Department released a document which said all cryptocurrency transfers over $10,000 should be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The measure currently applies to US-based businesses only as it aims to clamp down on tax evasion.