Kristin Smith, executive director of the Blockchain Association has dismissed fears that the United States Department of the Treasury was close to cracking down on Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies.
Indeed, rumors of the Treasury bringing money laundering charges against some financial institutions using cryptocurrencies began circulating on social media over the weekend.
The report emerged during a period of massive selloffs in the crypto space with the market capitalization dropping over $240 million as Bitcoin slid to $52,000.
In an interview with CNBC, Smith debunked the reports, stating that it was the Department of Justice’s remit to charge companies with money laundering.
Janet Yellen, the secretary of the U.S. Treasury is a noted crypto critic who in February characterized the apparent misuse of cryptocurrencies for illegal activities as a growing concern.
Meanwhile, several studies show the criminal usage of cryptocurrencies accounts for a minute proportion of global crypto commerce. Indeed, Michael Morell, a former acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency recently published a paper showing that the broad generalization of virtual currencies as conduits for criminal financing was exaggerated.
Morell’s paper also concluded that blockchain forensic tools are sufficiently robust to detect illicit crypto transactions.
Commenting on the efforts by crypto stakeholders to remedy the disinformation in Washington regarding the industry, Smith remarked that several market actors are contributing more resources in positive lobbying efforts on the Hill.
Earlier in April, prominent organizations in the cryptocurrency space like Coinbase and Square announced a new lobbying initiative dubbed the Crypto Council for Innovation. Apart from the Blockchain Association, other groups like Coin Center are also pushing for sensible virtual currency regulations in America.
For Smith, events like the Coinbase listing on Nasdaq offer proof of the growing market validation for the crypto industry, a phenomenon that authorities in Washington can hardly overlook.