Senator Mitt Romney: I Don’t Understand How Crypto Works But It Poses A Threat to Homeland Security
Utah Senator, Mitt Romney, has questioned whether cryptocurrencies should be allowed to exist given the threat they pose to Homeland Security in a recent hearing. The Senate Committee in charge of Governmental affairs was inquiring of the threats that Homeland Security faces when the Utah Senator proposed the crypto perspective.
Romney acknowledged that he isn’t well vast with FinTech and banking policies but noted it is inevitably hard for Homeland Security to carry out its functions if they have no clue of financial transactions. This, therefore, raises the question on the existence of digital coins among other issues.
Senator Mitt Romney stated,
‘I’m not in the Banking Committee. I don’t begin to understand how cryptocurrency works. I would think it is more difficult to carry out your work when we can’t follow the money because the money is hidden from us and wonder whether there should not be some kind of effort taken in our nation to deal with cryptocurrency.’
FBI’s director, Christopher Wray, responded to Romney noting that digital coins were indeed a problem that might be bigger in future;
‘Well certainly for us cryptocurrency is already a significant issue and we can project out pretty easily that it’s going to become a bigger and bigger one. Whether or not that is the subject of some kind of regulation as the response is harder for me to speak too.”
The FBI Director further added that terror financing has been made more anonymous with new technology. However, he remained keen not to suggest any directions on regulatory or policy frameworks surrounding the blockchain and crypto space. Wray assured the Senate that Homeland Security is closely monitoring cryptocurrencies from an investigative point with an aim to build proper KYC/AML to track funds within this ecosystem.
It is not only in the U.S where authorities have begun paying closer attention to crypto coins, but China and the EU are also looking into Government-backed digital assets in the wake of Libra by Facebook. Back in 2018 when Venezuela's inflation skyrocketed, President Trump issued an order that outlawed their digital coin ‘Petro’. This might be harder in the case of fully decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin hence the looming uncertainty in crypto regulation across the world.