Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday the department is usually monitoring cryptocurrency developments, with particular attention to its use by criminals.
Speaking at a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, he said he does not see bitcoin as well as its competitors as a threat to financial stability, though he does have additional concerns.
“I want to make sure of which these are not used by bad guys, of which they don’t turn into Swiss numbered bank accounts,” Mnuchin said. He later added: “We want to make sure consumers understand the issues surrounding cryptocurrencies.”
Bitcoin specifically has seen violent swings in cost lately, trading around $20,000 in mid-December before tumbling. the idea was at $10,370 shortly after noon Tuesday. The largest of the cryptos, bitcoin features a market cap of $176.6 billion. In all, 32 digital currencies have market caps above $1 billion.
Mnuchin said anyone dealing with cryptocurrencies operates under the same money-laundering rules as banks.
Cryptos have been rife with fraud, with scammers using many devices to cheat buyers. They also are well-known in black market activities.
WATCH: Strategist discusses the various ways bitcoin is usually used as well as stored.