Bitcoin detractors take just about every opportunity they find to throw stones at the cryptocurrency. From those who believe it is volatile to those who claim that it could vanish any day, there’s no shortage of talking points when it comes to naysayers expressing their views on why Bitcoin is evil.
One of the most notable additions to the Bitcoin Bashers’ Club this year was Steve Mnuchin, the Secretary of the United States Treasury. Mnuchin made headlines back in July, when he foreshadowed struck regulations on the cryptocurrency space, after U.S. President Donald Trump launches a tirade on the asset space- where he branded Bitcoin as being speculative, with a value that is just being conjured out of thin air.
Bitcoin is a Laundering Medium, and Cash Isn’t
However, the Treasury Secretary’s latest hit at the digital asset struck people as being a tad strange. Mnuchin made an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box recently, where he commented that unlike Bitcoin, traditional cash isn’t laundered for nefarious activities.
In the interview, Mnuchin was asked whether cash is safe and more difficult to launder, especially in comparison to Bitcoin. With a straight face, Mnuchin claimed that nefarious activities haven’t been completed with cash and are only workable with Bitcoin as a medium.
Like host Joe Squawk, just about everyone with a modicum of Financial history knowledge would have chuckled at Mnuchin’s statement. Claiming that cash has never been used to launder money is almost tantamount to claiming that the Earth is flat in today’s world; despite undeniable evidence to prove that both statements are wrong, it seems like certain people still hold on to these fundamentally flawed fallacies.
No Good Guys Here, but Cash is Much Worse
Of course, this isn’t to let Bitcoin off the hook as far as money laundering is concerned. Despite progress being made in Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) procedures, criminals have still found ways to funnel stolen money from one end to another using Bitcoin. Decentralized exchanges, cryptocurrency tumblers, and Crypto ATMs, to mention a few, have all been responsible for enabling money launderers to move their funds with cryptocurrency rather easily.
Still, cash remains undefeated. Back in 2015, Banking Journal reported that total money laundering across the United States alone totaled $300 billion annually. Today, the entire cryptocurrency market is worth about $193 billion (per CoinMarketCap)
There’s a reason why it’s called “money laundering.” While no one’s trying to paint Bitcoin as some saint, comparing an asset that has only been around for a little over a decade to centuries-old hard cash in terms of criminal activity use is simply unthinkable.
Also, this is Steve Mnuchin, the man whose tenure as Treasury Secretary has been marred by several scandals, including the loss of $1.5 trillion in $100 bills. If anyone should be throwing stones, it’s not him.