Janet Yellen has become the first woman secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department. Yellen was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 84 to 15, underscoring the bipartisan support she receives in the sharply divided legislature. She takes on the Treasury chief position after expressing her views over the use of digital currencies in illicit activities in her recent nomination hearing. Yellen’s appointment comes at a time when the U.S. economy is facing one of its worst tests in history.
Yellen will play a key role in defining the financial industry for the next four years.
In December 2020, the U.S. saw 140,000 jobs lost for the first time in eight months. The coronavirus pandemic has also led to a contraction of the economy, with many industries losing out on trillions of dollars in 2020. Many hope that Yellen’s experience as the Federal Reserve chair will make her an asset to the industry. David Wessel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, where Yellen most recently worked, believes her credibility with both Democrats and Republicans givers her an edge over her predecessors.
“Cryptocurrencies are a particular concern.”
The appointment of Janet Yellen as the U.S. Treasury Department secretary might be a bit concerning for the crypto industry. Yellen previously said she is not a fan of Bitcoin—but that was when she was still a Fed chair years ago when the industry was mostly thought of as a hub for illicit activities. During her nomination hearing, she said, “the technologies to accomplish this change over time. We need to make sure that our methods for dealing with these matters, with tech terrorist financing, change, and changing technology cryptocurrencies are a particular concern.