On Wednesday, President Joe Biden signed an executive order which laid the groundwork for federal regulation of the cryptocurrency market, the potential development of a digital dollar, as well as setting the stage for the presentation of unregulated cryptocurrency as national security threats.
The order calls for a review of the federal government’s approach to cryptocurrencies, as well as placing the United States as a leader in the global industry.
The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine is also being presented as a motivation for cracking down on cryptocurrency, with The Washington Post noting that “some U.S. policymakers have raised concerns about the potential for Russians to use cryptocurrencies to dodge sanctions, although others say the relatively small size of the asset market and the traceability of digital tokens make it an unworkable option for the Russians targeted with sanctions.”
“Today President Biden signed an Executive Order (E.O.) to establish the first-ever comprehensive federal digital assets strategy for the United States. The E.O. 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,” NEC Director Brian Deese and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan announced in a statement.
“This E.O. marks an intensification of our efforts to promote responsible innovation in the digital assets space – innovation that works for all Americans, protects our national security interests, and contributes to our economic competitiveness and growth. Fundamentally, an American approach to digital assets is one that encourages innovation but mitigates the risks to consumers, investors, and businesses, broader financial stability, and the environment. We are clear-eyed that ‘financial innovation’ of the past has too often not benefited working families, while exacerbating inequality and increasing systemic financial risk. This history underscores the need to build robust consumer and economic protections into digital asset development,” they continued.
“The approach outlined in the E.O. will reinforce U.S. leadership in the global financial system and safeguard the long-term efficacy of critical national security tools like sanctions and anti-money laundering frameworks. To these ends, the Order identifies the Administration’s policy priorities, both for cryptocurrencies and any future U.S. central bank digital currency, to help guide the evolution of the digital asset ecosystem in a way that is consistent with our values. Governments alone cannot solve these problems, and definitely not a government that operates in siloes,” they concluded. “This E.O. is the product of months of work with stakeholders across government, industry, advocacy, academia, and international allies and partners – to identify actions we can take to foster responsible innovation in the digital asset ecosystem. Its implementation will leverage the knowledge and distinct expertise of a broad range of stakeholders across the White House and Executive departments and agencies, and regulatory agencies. We remain committed to working with allies, partners, and the broader digital asset community to shape the future of digital asset systems in a manner that is safe, inclusive, and consistent with our democratic values. As this ecosystem evolves, so too will our approach.”
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