The DEA has concluded, as well as the British National Crime Agency, that the technology undermining Bitcoin is helpful when conducting illegal activities. The US Treasury Department is also conducting an investigation of Bitcoin’s illegal applications.

New secretary targets Bitcoin

Steven Mnuchin, US Treasury Department secretary since February 2017 and former Goldman Sachs banker, announced during an interview with Yahoo Finance that he will start to research Bitcoin and its criminal uses.

Is Bitcoin a tool for the dark web?

Mnuchin says that the alleged illicit use of Bitcoin should be scrutinised, to make sure that the dark web is not financed by Bitcoin. Black markets, such as the infamous Silk Road, operate in the dark web and accept Bitcoin payments. During the interview, he said:

“So we want to make sure that you don’t have the dark web funded in Bitcoins. And that’s something that is a concern of ours today.”

US Treasury Department and FinCEN

Before the announcement, the US Treasury Department audited the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), to determine how FinCEN identifies, prioritizes, and addresses risks associated with cryptocurrencies like money laundering, or terrorist financing. The illegal uses of Bitcoin are also being discussed with international counterparts. There are plans to conduct more detailed audits of companies associated with Bitcoin, even if they fulfil current anti-money laundering regulation requirements.