U.S. President Joe Biden has signed a “historic” executive order on crypto assets, establishing “a national policy for digital assets across six key priorities,” the White House stated. The executive order outlines “the first-ever, whole-of-government approach to addressing the risks and harnessing the potential benefits of digital assets and their underlying technology.”
President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on Crypto Signed
U.S. President Joe Biden signed a long-awaited executive order on crypto Wednesday, according to an announcement by the White House. Biden was expected to sign the executive order at the end of February. However, Russia began its invasion of Ukraine that week.
Noting that “The United States must maintain technological leadership in this rapidly growing space,” the White House detailed that the executive order outlines:
The first ever, whole-of-government approach to addressing the risks and harnessing the potential benefits of digital assets and their underlying technology.
“The order lays out a national policy for digital assets across six key priorities,” the announcement states. For each digital asset priority, the executive order directs various government departments and agencies to develop policy recommendations within specific timeframes.
The first priority is to “protect U.S. consumers, investors, and businesses,” which the executive order directs the Department of the Treasury and other agencies “to assess and develop policy recommendations.”
The second priority is to “protect U.S. and global financial stability.”
The third priority is to “mitigate the illicit finance and national security risks posed by the illicit use of digital assets.” For this, the White House described that the executive order directs:
An unprecedented focus of coordinated action across all relevant U.S. government agencies to mitigate these risks.
“It also directs agencies to work with our allies and partners to ensure international frameworks, capabilities, and partnerships are aligned and responsive to risks,” the announcement notes.
The fourth priority is to “promote U.S. leadership in technology and economic competitiveness to reinforce U.S. leadership in the global financial system” by directing the Department of Commerce to establish an appropriate framework.
Two more priorities are to “support technological advances and ensure responsible development and use of digital assets” and to “explore a U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC).”
Treasury Department and Secretary Yellen Have Key Roles
One of the six priorities outlined in Biden’s executive order is to “promote equitable access to safe and affordable financial services.” For this, the White House explained: “The secretary of the treasury, working with all relevant agencies, will produce a report on the future of money and payment systems.” The report shall be submitted to Biden within 180 days.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen issued a statement on Biden’s executive order, stating:
President Biden’s historic executive order calls for a coordinated and comprehensive approach to digital asset policy.
“Under the executive order, Treasury and interagency partners will build upon the recently published National Risk Assessments, which identify key illicit financing risks associated with digital assets,” Yellen elaborated.
This priority will “address risks related to illicit finance, protecting consumers and investors, and preventing threats to the financial system and broader economy,” the treasury secretary clarified.
Following Biden’s executive order announcement, the chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, commented:
I look forward to collaborating with colleagues across the government to achieve important public policy goals: protecting investors & consumers, guarding against illicit activity, & helping ensure financial stability.
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