Mnuchin: It’s “Perfectly Fine” to Own Bitcoin

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  • Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has said that it’s “perfectly fine” for people to own Bitcoin
  • Mnuchin called misuse of Bitcoin a “national security issue” when he was in office
  • Mnuchin pushed for greater regulation of cryptocurrencies but was stymied when the Trump administration was voted out

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has said that it’s “perfectly fine” for people to own Bitcoin if they want to, reflecting his claim that his view has “evolved a little bit” since he left office. Mnuchin, who in 2019 called cryptocurrencies a “national security issue” told CNBC that while he personally wouldn’t own Bitcoin it was fine for others to do so, indicating a clear softening in his stance on the matter. Mnuchin pushed for tough regulations on cryptocurrencies before he left his post in January, but the bill was halted when the Biden administration came to power.

Mnuchin Says His View Has “Evolved”

Speaking to CNBC, Mnuchin showed that his views on cryptocurrency had certainly changed since he left the role of Treasury Secretary in January:

I think my view has evolved a little bit, but it is pretty consistent … If people want to buy bitcoin as a substitute, no different than buying gold or some other asset, it’s fine. I don’t personally want to have it in my portfolio but if people want to that’s perfectly fine.

In 2019, Mnuchin said that the misuse of Bitcoin by criminals was a national security issue and that Bitcoin itself was a highly volatile asset based on “thin air”. While it doesn’t seem that his opinion on the value of Bitcoin has changed, his stance on its legality certainly seems to have.

Blockchain Tech is “Pretty Incredible”

Mnuchin added that the blockchain technology underpinning Bitcoin was “pretty incredible”, and noted the number of businesses and applications currently using it. He added that regulation of the space was inevitable, evidence of which we have already seen as cryptocurrency transactions start to get treated with the same rulebook as traditional financial transactions.