President Joe Biden Signs Executive Order On Cryptocurrency Oversight
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President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday that called for government oversight of cryptocurrencies.
The “Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets” states that because of the rise of cryptocurrencies, there are “profound implications for the protection of consumers, investors, and businesses, including data privacy and security; financial stability and systemic risk; crime; national security; the ability to exercise human rights; financial inclusion and equity; and energy demand and climate change.”
The executive order will focus on six key areas:
- Protecting consumers, investors, and businesses
- Protecting the United States while also providing global financial stability and mitigating systemic risk
- Mitigating illicit finance and national security risks posed by the misuse of digital assets such as money laundering, cybercrime, ransomware, narcotics, human trafficking, terrorism, and proliferation financing
- Ensuring the U.S. is a leader in the “global financial system and in technological and economic competitiveness, including through the responsible development of payment innovations and digital assets”
- Provide access to safe and affordable financial services
- Support “technological advances that promote responsible development and use of digital assets”
The executive order calls on government agencies to investigate the potential of a digital version of the dollar called “United States Central Bank Digital Currencies.”
The White House called on the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Chief Technology Officer of the United States, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve to provide a “technical evaluation of the technological infrastructure, capacity, and expertise that would be necessary at relevant agencies to facilitate and support the introduction of a CBDC system should one be proposed.”
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen claimed that the executive order on cryptocurrencies would “promote a fairer, more inclusive, and more efficient financial system,” while also clamping down on illicit financial maneuvers and preventing risks to economic stability and national security.
“Already, the Department has worked with the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, the FDIC [Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation], and OCC [the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] to study one particular kind of digital asset – stablecoins – and to make recommendations,” Yellen added. “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.”
Brian Deese and Jake Sullivan – Biden’s top economic and national security advisers, respectively – proclaimed, “That will help position the U.S. to keep playing a leading role in the innovation and governance of the digital assets ecosystem at home and abroad, in a way that protects consumers, is consistent with our democratic values and advances U.S. global competitiveness.”
A 2021 Pew Research survey found that approximately 40 million Americans, or 16% of the total U.S. population, have invested in or are trading in cryptocurrencies.
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