Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday warned nations across the globe to take the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies seriously, because these instruments have the potential to undermine the power of nation states and the role of the U.S. dollar in the global economy.
“One more area that I hope nation states start paying greater attention to is the rise of cryptocurrency — because what looks like a very interesting and somewhat exotic effort to literally mine new coins in order to trade with the has the potential for undermining currencies, for undermining the role of the dollar as the reserve currency, for destabilizing nations, perhaps starting with small ones, but going much larger,” Clinton said during a panel discussion at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore Friday.
Clinton pointed to the example of Russia as an actor that can use cryptocurrencies and cyber tactics to weaken its geopolitical foes. Russian President Vladimr Putin, she said, has at his disposal “a very large stable of hackers and those who deal in disinformation and cyberwarfare.”
Experts have questioned whether private cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or public digital currencies like China’s digital yuan will have much effect on the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency, though the development of central bank digital currencies might reduce demand for dollars as instruments of cross-border transactions.