Clinton: regulating crypto to stop manipulation by Russia and China

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said cryptocurrency markets need tighter regulations to protect against technological manipulation by Russia, China and others.

His comments on cryptocurrency were part of a larger segment in a Nov. 24 interview with MSNBC TV host Rachel Maddow on the manipulation of social media platforms by certain countries.

Clinton’s warning extended to “technology of all kinds” that she said states and non-state entities could use to destabilize countries and the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. She said: “There is another thing on the horizon that people are only starting to pay attention to, and that is the need to regulate the cryptocurrency market.”

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“Imagine the combination of social media, accumulating even larger sums of money through control of certain cryptocurrency chains,” she said.

“We’re not just looking at states like China, Russia or others who are manipulating technologies of all kinds to their advantage. We are looking at non-state actors, either in concert with states or on their own destabilizing countries, destabilizing the dollar as a reserve currency.

She was particularly interested in how social media platforms, which were used to influence elections through disinformation, could be combined with cryptocurrency markets in ways that help state and non-state actors to destabilize other countries. While she didn’t go into specifics, it could happen via market manipulation, manufacturing hype, or even designing a financial crash via social media troll farms.

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In recent years, countries have used or publicly considered using cryptocurrency to circumvent US economic sanctions.

Most notably, North Korea has used cryptocurrency to fund the nuclear weapons program. The country has also used privacy coins and various other methods to avoid detection.

Related: Digital Currencies Won’t Impact US Sanctions, Says Treasury Director

The Iranian government has also spoken publicly in favor of the cryptocurrency. In early 2020, Saeed Muhammad, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, specifically called on Iran to use cryptocurrency to circumvent sanctions.

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Over the past few weeks, Clinton has spoken out against the problems cryptocurrency can pose for the global dominance of the US dollar. She told the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore on November 19 that while cryptocurrencies are an “interesting” technology, they can have negative effects on the United States and other countries “perhaps starting with the small ones but going much bigger “.