Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has warned that the United States must act to regulate cryptocurrency in the face of states and non-state actors ‘manipulating’ it and other technologies to destabilize the dollar.
Speaking with MSNBC TV host Rachel Maddow, Clinton made her comments amid a wider conversation about states such as China and Russia “manipulating technology” including social media, technology platforms, and cryptocurrency.
Clinton drew attention to the “need to regulate the cryptocurrency markets,” highlighting, “the combination of social media, the algorithms that drive social media, the amassing of even larger sums of money through the control of certain cryptocurrency chains.”
She added that, “We’re looking at not only states such as China or Russia manipulating technology of all kinds to their advantage. We’re looking at non-state actors, either in concert with states or on their own, destabilizing countries, destabilizing the dollar as the reserve currency.”
This is not the first time that Clinton has raised the alarm over the national security threats presented by cryptocurrency.
Just last week, Clinton said that cryptocurrencies could potentially undermine the U.S. dollar, warning that “in the wrong hands or in alliances with the wrong people,” crypto could present a direct threat to nation states and global markets.
Amid yesterday’s warning, Clinton piled the pressure on the Biden administration to take action. “There are so many big questions that the Biden administration must address. I just don’t think we have much time,” she said.
Clinton, Biden and crypto
The Biden administration has already taken a number of actions in response to crypto-related national security risks.
Amid high-profile ransomware attacks against JBS and Colonial Pipeline, the Justice Department announced that it would be elevating ransomware—which often utilizes cryptocurrency—to a similar priority level as terrorism.
In the summer, President Biden set up a ransomware task force, tasked explicitly with combating cyberattacks and tracing cryptocurrency ransomware payments.
Just last month, the Treasury Department also chimed in on crypto, warning that they undermine the United States’ sanctions regime—a longstanding cornerstone of American foreign policy.
Crypto and national security
2021 has highlighted the growing impact of cryptocurrency in matters of national security.
Amid renewed conflict with Israel, Hamas—designated a terrorist organization by the United States and others—admitted to a spike in donations.
Russian intelligence-backed firms have also utilized cryptocurrencies to finance election meddling—and some are based right in the heart of Moscow.
The far-right in the U.S. has also pivoted to crypto. Andrew Anglin—the founder of neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer—has received almost $5 million worth of Bitcoin since January 2017.