U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has compared the use of cryptocurrency to Swiss numbered bank accounts in a scathing attack on the industry.
He was referring to the G7’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and its current second look at crypto in the face of the expectation that billions of people could hook up to cryptocurrency via Facebook when the media giant releases Libra.
Swiss banking secrecy was codified in 1934 with the passage of the landmark federal law, the Federal Act on Banks and Savings Banks and private numbered accounts have long offered depositors question free banking. Mnuchin commented in an address to a plenary session of the latest G7 AML initiative targeting cryptocurrency:
“By adopting the standards and guidelines agreed to this week, the FATF will make sure that virtual asset service providers do not operate in the dark shadows. This will enable the emerging FinTech sector to stay one-step ahead of rogue regimes and sympathizers of illicit causes searching for avenues to raise and transfer funds without detection.”
He used the Swiss reference in the same address suggesting that crypto assets could never be allowed to “become the equivalent of secret numbered accounts,” referring to the Swiss model which has since been replicated in other offshore jurisdictions, where a client’s identity is not revealed and accounts are simply identified by a code or number.
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