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Bitcoin Lovers: This Is What It Looks Like When the US Wants to Destroy a Currency

A 2,000 rial Iranian banknote showing the Islamic Republic's founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

A 2,000 rial Iranian banknote showing the Islamic Republic's founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini // AP

There’s a big difference between bringing down a currency and simply trying to regulate it.

Today a top US financial crime official said digital currencies like bitcoin shouldn’t fear government plans to regulate them like regular old financial institutions.

“Administrators or exchangers of virtual currencies have registration requirements and a broad range of [anti-money-laundering] program, recordkeeping, and reporting responsibilities. Those offering virtual currencies must comply with these regulatory requirements, and if they do so, they have nothing to fear from Treasury,” said Jennifer Shasky Calvery, director of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCen, in prepared remarks for a conference on the virtual economy.

They probably shouldn’t, even though government-skeptic digital currency fans may not believe it. We’ve said the same before, but to make the point clearer, let’s look at what the US does when it really wants to destroy a currency.

Last week, the Treasury announced a new package of sanctions targeting Iran’s currency, the rial. The US has decided to make the country’s currency “useless” as a way to squeeze its economy and squelch its nuclear program. (Whether economic sanctions actually influence Iran’s plans is unclear).

Read more at Quartz

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// October 21
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