Steven Mnuchin makes a good point
There is a good reason to be skeptical of Facebooks push into shadow payments
Many people probably weren’t aware that Facebook made an announcement of its launch into the digital cryptocurrency movement almost a month ago today. But that all changed on Monday when the Secretary of Treasury made an announcement strongly opposing the endeavor.
The potential of cryptocurrency being used to launder money, finance terrorism, facilitate drugs sales, and human trafficking weigh chiefly at their concern. And there is compelling proof for this outside the remarks he made.
Researchers have recently uncovered that a quarter of bitcoin users are using the currency for illegal activities. A total estimate of 76 billion USD is involved in illegal activity per year, and includes bitcoin. It’s an amounted total of 46% of all bitcoin transactions.
So it was not a surprise that Secretary Mnuchin noted it as a “national security issue.” This phrase is awkward and overly used — especially to anyone who lived in the early 2000s. Even still, some accountability needs to be in place for transactions information to be available at some level since it relates to public welfare.
Cigarettes taxes are currently in place to help pay for our national healthcare. We also have an alcohol tax to help address the side effects that local police must deal with in our cites and on our highways. But none of this would be enforceable, and our healthcare and police would be unfunded if we moved to a nontransparent payment system.
It’s all surprising that Facebook, for some reason, decided to trek into the darkest part of our financial systems, right on the heels of the 2016 Russian election hack — of which they played a heavy roll in. This all following their involvement in the Cambridge Analytica scandal that exploited 50 million American’s personal information to political operatives.
Secretary Mnuchin has made clear that they should follow the same Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) as traditional financial institutions. The division that monitors the compliance of this law noted just in the last year 20 million reports of potentially illegal activity.
This all might seem hyperbolic. But much of these laws came from the post 9/11 era where prevention was much to the concern of most Americans. And it still should be. Because Facebook was involved in the biggest scandal in recent memory, and it still seems that they haven’t learned any substantive lesson.
In fact, the company seems determined to push on with unrelenting and brazen aggression into dark frontiers. This all might seem admirable on the surface, but it shows a high degree of indifference to the political struggles that are challenge the country.
From Mark Zuckerberg’s perspective, all he is trying to do is run a successful business. But the company has made misstep after misstep coming up with a solution that adheres to the community-based solutions that they continuously espouse.
The U.S. dollar has been recognized as the worlds reserve currency for a decade now. And just like other cryptocurrencies of the world, Facebook is on the march to upend that order.