Treasury secretary nominee Janet Yellen calls illicit use of cryptocurrency a 'particular concern'

Cryptocurrencies are a "particular concern" for law enforcement officials charged with policing money laundering and other illicit finance, Treasury secretary nominee and former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said during her Senate confirmation hearing today.

The comment came in response to a question from Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), who asked Yellen about emerging technical threats related to financial terrorism and how Yellen sees the Treasury's role in the battle against illicit financial activities. Hassan specifically named crypto as a possible threat, and Yellen agreed.

"I think many are used at least in a transactions sense mainly for illicit finance," she said, adding that the government needs to find new ways to curb money laundering from occurring via crypto platforms.

A date has not been set for a vote on Yellen's confirmation, but according to a Bloomberg report it could come as early as Thursday.

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Aislinn Keely joined The Block in the summer of 2019. She is a member of the outlet's policy team, holding down the legal beat. Before The Block, she lent her voice to the NPR affiliate WFUV, where she reported and anchored newscasts in addition to some podcast work. Aislinn is a proud Fordham Ram and editor-in-chief emerita of its newspaper. When she isn't writing or reporting, Aislinn is running and rock climbing.