President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as the new U.S. Treasury Secretary.
Per reports from Reuters, Biden will tap the Obama-era chair of the Federal Reserve to lead his administration’s economic policy. The report reads,
“Yellen, 74, brings decades of economic policy experience and is respected by Congress, international finance officials, progressives and business interests alike”.
If confirmed, this nomination will not only break a 231-year gender barrier for the position but also give the role to a noted crypto critic. This matters because the Secretary of the Treasury acts as a principal advisor to the president and his cabinet on economic issues.
Initially appointed by President Obama, Yellen worked with the Fed from 2014 until 2018. Her term started at a time when cryptocurrencies entered public awareness and ended right after bitcoin’s historic 2017 run.
During her tenure, Yellen was consistently critical of the crypto space, making numerous negative statements against Bitcoin in particular — calling it both “not a stable source of value” and “a highly speculative asset.”
However, since leaving the Fed to work for the Brookings Institution in 2018, Yellen has made no further public comment on Bitcoin or the cryptocurrency industry at large. Whether or not she has softened her stance remains to be seen.
In related news, there has been some speculation this week that Biden will appoint former presidential candidate Andrew Yang as secretary of commerce.
In contrast to Yellen, Yang has been watching Bitcoin for a long time. He’s made little secret of his support for cryptocurrency and has formed several friendships in the space with his progressive ideas about universal basic income. Back in July 2018, Yang even went as far as to start accepting bitcoin, ethereum, and a range of other cryptocurrencies to fund his campaign.