Janet Yellen’s Reign as US Treasury Secretary: Her Impact on Crypto

Janet Yellen, an American economist who currently serves as the 78th US Treasury Secretary, has shown her anti-crypto stance numerous times. During his 20-month reign, he has argued that bitcoin is not suitable for making financial transactions and that people should not rely on investing in digital assets as part of their retirement strategy.

Some recent reports hinted that Yellen might leave her post after the mid-term sessions in early November. It is still unknown whether her successor will be more open to the digital assets sector or will continue to have a similar adverse policy.

Cryptonegativism in recent years

Janet Yellen has extensive experience as a US government official. In 1994, former President Bill Clinton appointed her to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. Three years later, she resigned to join the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) as president.

In 2004, Yellen was appointed chair of the San Francisco Federal Reserve, becoming the first woman in US history to hold that position. In 2010, she returned to the Fed as vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and later served as the central bank’s chairman.

During Donald Trump’s presidency, Yellen stayed away from politics. Between 2017 and 2021, he mainly lectured in the United States and abroad and harshly criticized the billionaire’s administration.

The election of Joe Biden for US President, however, turned the tides and Yellen returned to the White House as Treasury Secretary.

Over the decades, he hasn’t been that vocal about the cryptocurrency industry apart from the last couple of years. Shortly after taking his latest position, the economist argued that bitcoin is a highly speculative and inefficient asset that criminals often use in their illicit operations.

A few months later, Yellen gave her first speech devoted entirely to cryptocurrencies. He maintained his position that these currencies are a threat to the financial system and that regulators should apply comprehensive rules to the industry.

Contrary to bitcoin and alternative currencies, the Treasury Secretary stated that a potential launch of a digital dollar could be beneficial for the country and its national currency.

Remove Crypto from Retirement Plans

Yellen’s negative tone about digital currencies peaked this summer when she warned people that adding crypto to their retirement plans is not a good move:

“It’s not something I would recommend to most people who are saving for retirement. To me, it’s a very risky investment.”

Janet Yellen
Janet Yellen, Source: Forbes

However, Yellen has also shown brief signs of acceptance from the cryptocurrency industry. Days before her nomination as US Treasury secretary, she said digital assets have advantages that authorities must explore. The economist even added that blockchain technology has the potential to “improve the efficiency of the financial system.”

Its influence on the development of Crypto

Following reports that Yellen may step down from her position, it’s worth considering how these changes would affect the cryptocurrency industry.

The US Treasury secretary has direct influence over the president as she acts as a top adviser on economic matters. In addition, Yellen oversees the Department of Economy and Finance, which means that all fiscal, fiscal, printing and other monetary policies must receive her approval before they can be implemented.

His adverse view of crypto could be one of the reasons why the US government has been quite aloof from the sector. It remains to be seen how its successor (even if there is one soon) would approach the industry.

Given the importance of the position, it would be safe to assume that the cryptocurrency industry will be affected in one way or another if Yellen continues in this role or if there is a successor in her place. Still the largest economy in the world and among the leaders in terms of crypto adoption, the US is arguably the most important country for the industry.

We’ve seen how the actions of the SEC (in the case against Ripple or the refusal to approve a Bitcoin spot ETF), as well as the monetary policy of the Fed, have affected it. In addition, the Biden administration has already put the industry within its reach with executive orders and potential regulatory plans.

As such, having a Treasury Secretary with a more open approach to crypto could be very beneficial and, unfortunately, vice versa.

Featured image courtesy of the BBC


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