President Biden issues and signs Executive Order on Cryptocurrencies and Digital assets

Category: Americas Blockchain Regulatory
Posted by
Ravindu Dabarera

In possibly one of the most important events in the industry’s steps towards mass adoption, the Biden Administration signs an Executive Order on the Blockchain and calls upon several government agencies to submit input

Referred to as the “Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets,” the groundbreaking move requests the several departments and agencies of the United States to provide research and propose new policy approaches towards the Blockchain and related technologies such as cryptocurrencies, digital assets and DLT tech.

With the Executive order itself stating that ”advances in digital and distributed ledger technology for financial services have led to dramatic growth in markets for digital assets, with profound implications for the protection of consumers, investors, and businesses,” it notes in a tone almost triumphantly echoing the beliefs of the crypto-community that this sector had the potential to completely alter “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.”

This indicated that even while the industry mainly existed “within the scope of existing domestic laws and regulations”, the highest echelons of the United States government felt that a more coordinated and decisive government presence was required.

The tone of the Order took a notably cautious tone with a focus on the need to protect “consumers, investors, and businesses, maintain financial stability, restrict illegal financing, and reduce national security risks.”

The Order also notes the potential environmental effects it could have due to high energy consumption, noting that it aims to reduce “climate impacts and environmental pollution…from some cryptocurrency mining.”

This being said, it also stresses the potential of the industry and how the United States could spearhead its mass adoption, noting how the government intended to create affordable and safe financial systems and support technological innovation within the space.

Another important note was how the Order noted the need for a policy on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) with this asset likely being founded on the U.S. dollar. While the Executive Order did not make an absolute statement regarding the creation of CBDCs, it did note how this formed the “highest urgency on research and development.“

The Order stipulated that the various agencies will submit their reports specifically regarding CBDCs in the next 180 to 210 days.

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