Republican Kevin McCarthy says Fed chair needs more education on crypto

The House minority leader said the United States should not take a backseat to China when it comes to digital currencies.

Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, hinted that both the current Secretary of the Treasury and chair of the Federal Reserve may need to reevaluate their positions on crypto.

Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning, host Joe Kernen asked the Republican lawmaker whether either Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen or Fed chair Jerome Powell had a “good understand of digital currencies or Bitcoin.” In regards to Bitcoin (BTC), McCarthy claimed both the officials had “tried to ignore it to make it go away” while urging those in government to see the potential of crypto.

“This is moving towards the future,” said McCarthy. “They should not ignore it. They should not only learn more about it, but the basis is going to continue to grow. This is something that those who regulate, those who are in government that make policy, better start understanding what it means for the future because other countries are moving forward, especially China.”

“They tried to ignore it to make it go away. Jamie Dimon will tell you that,” says @GOPLeader on #bitcoin. “This is something that those who regulate, those who are in government that make policy better start understanding what it means for the future.” #btc

— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) April 13, 2021

Confirmed in January, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has referred to cryptocurrencies as a “growing concern” in the United States, and that the government should to examine ways to “curtail” their use as part of anti-money laundering efforts. Jerome Powell, who has served as Fed chair for three years, seemingly echoed some of Yellen’s sentiments on crypto last month, saying Bitcoin is “backed by nothing” and too volatile to be useful as a store of value.

The House minority leader has previously given his views on crypto, saying in 2019 that he likes the security aspects of blockchain technology and encouraged the U.S. government to start using it for more efficiency and transparency. However, he also criticized the Facebook-backed Libra token, now Diem, for being too centralized.

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