He referred to both as “cryptocurrencies,” despite analysis confirming that Libra is in fact not similarly structured to true cryptocurrencies.
“We are concerned about the speculative nature of Bitcoin and will make sure that the U.S. financial system is protected from fraud,” he added.
Responding, the Bitcoin industry was predictably buoyant, after much of Mnuchin’s speech highlighted a lack of understanding about decentralization, while hinting the government’s goal was to protect the prowess of the dollar.
“Complete and total validation of bitcoin,” Barry Silbert, CEO and founder of Digital Currency Group tweeted.
Others took aim at the myriad ongoing attempts by Washington to get to grips with cryptocurrency and their apparent impotence in the face of an uncontrollable phenomenon.
“Familiar with President’s Working Group On Financial Markets? GATA: no more markets only manipulations,” Trace Mayer summarized, poking fun at Mnuchin’s repeated assertion that no one had heard of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
Some sources did approve of Mnuchin’s perspective, such as Morgan Creek Digital co-founder, Anthony Pompliano, who focused on his worries about illicit activity.
“Sounds like a green light for those who want to do things the right way,” he wrote.
Similarly upbeat was CoinShares’ Meltem Demirors, who described the comments as measured and fair.
Bitcoin gained slightly following the conference, mirroring behavior seen in the aftermath of Trump’s words.
Overall, BTC/USD is down around 15% compared to the start of last week, when the pair reached highs of just over $13,000.