Congressman Tom Emmer has responded to the comments by the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis about bitcoin and crypto having no use case other than funding illicit activities. “Most crime is still conducted with the cash you print,” he said.
Rep. Emmer Pushes Back at Federal Reserve’s Kashkari Over Crypto’s Use in Crime
On Thursday, Rep. Tom Emmer told Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, how he is wrong about crypto being used mostly for funding illicit activities.
Crypto-skeptic Kashkari said this week at the Pacific Northwest Economic Regional Annual Summit in Big Sky, Montana, that cryptocurrencies are “95% fraud, hype, noise and confusion.” In addition, he said, “I’ve not seen any use case other than funding illicit activities like drugs and prostitution.”
Responding to Kashkari’s comments, Emmer tweeted Thursday:
Crypto-based crime represented only 0.34% of the entire transaction volume in 2020. Unfortunately, most crime is still conducted with the cash you print.
Blockchain data platform Chainalysis published a report early this year showing that “cryptocurrency-related crime fell significantly in 2020.” Specifically, the firm wrote, “In 2020, the criminal share of all cryptocurrency activity fell to just 0.34% or $10.0 billion in transaction volume.”
Despite this finding, many top-ranking officials still claim that crypto is mostly used in illicit financing. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said earlier this year that “Cryptocurrencies are a particular concern,” adding that “many are used, at least in a transactions sense, mainly for illicit financing.” The president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, similarly said that bitcoin “has conducted some funny business” and some “totally reprehensible money laundering activity.”
Besides Rep. Emmer, many people have tried to set the record straight that most crime is done in fiat currencies, not cryptocurrencies. Among them is well-known economist Daniel Lacalle, fund manager and chief economist at Tressis Gestion. Calling Lagarde’s statement “outrageous,” he emphasized, “we all know that the vast majority of money laundering globally is conducted in fiat currencies, particularly in U.S. dollars and euros.”
Earlier this month, Mohamed El-Erian, an adviser to Allianz and Gramercy Funds Management, urged governments to “stop dismissing the crypto revolution as some mix of illicit payments schemes and reckless financial speculation.”
When do you think Kashkari will stop saying that crypto has no use case other than funding illicit activities? Let us know in the comments section below.