Michael Pompeo, US Secretary of State and one of President Trump’s closest advisers, suggested on Tuesday that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies should be regulated in the same manner as electronic payments.
When asked on CNBC’s Squawk Box program how to regulate cryptocurrencies and projects such as Libra, Pompeo compared cryptocurrency transactions to those used in payments systems such as SWIFT. He said:
We should use the same framework that we use to regulate all other electronic financial transactions. That’s essentially what these are. These are monies moving through markets, or in some case disintermediated transactions.
Pompeo conceded that it would be a difficult process, but thought the regulatory theory was the best fit for the cryptocurrency market.
Fighting Cyber Crime
Discussing the decentralized nature of crypto transactions and the near-anonymity of those conducting them, the Secretary of State was asked if he thought this was the kind of world that would be seen in five years. He said:
I hope not. It would decrease the security for the world if that’s the direction we travel.
He added that having access to financial information in the past two decades has helped keep the world secure and fight terrorism and other “nefarious activity”.
We need to preserve a financial system – a global financial system – that protects that.