Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin expressed concerns about Facebook’s new cryptocurrency in a press conference on Monday, cautioning that terrorists and other criminals could use the network for money laundering. Facebook “and others have a lot of work to do before they get us comfortable,” Mr. Mnuchin said.
Mr. Mnuchin’s comments came the day before David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s cryptocurrency efforts, is set to testify before Congress in a series of hearings that will likely be contentious. Lawmakers from both parties have come out against the plan, and last week President Donald Trump suggested Facebook would have to obtain a banking charter if it were to launch its own currency.
As treasury secretary, Mr. Mnuchin oversees the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, an agency that fights money laundering and terrorist financing. Facebook has assured officials its cryptocurrency wallet, which Facebook users can use to access the currency, will comply with regulations by collecting information about its users’ identities. But it might have less control over third-party apps that developers build for the network.