President Biden Signs Executive Order on Digital Assets
President Joseph R. Biden signed an "Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets," which outlined a "first ever, whole-of-government approach" to address the risks and potential benefits of digital assets.
In an accompanying Fact Sheet, the White House identified seven key priorities:
The protection of U.S. consumers, investors and businesses. The President directed Treasury to assess and develop "policy recommendations to address the implications of the growing digital asset sector and changes in financial markets for consumers, investors, and businesses, while promoting equitable economic growth."
- The protection of U.S. financial stability and mitigation of systemic risk. The President directed the Financial Stability Oversight Council to "identify and mitigate systemic risks posed by digital assets and to develop recommendations to address any regulatory gaps."
- The mitigation of illicit finance and national security risks. The President directed all relevant U.S. Government agencies to give an "unprecedented focus of coordinated action" in order to mitigate all risks associated with digital assets.
- The promotion of U.S. leadership in the global financial system. The President directed the Department of Commerce to establish a framework for Government agencies to use to promote U.S. technology and economic competitiveness.
- The promotion of equitable access to safe and affordable financial services. The President directed the Secretary of the Treasury to produce a report on digital money and payment systems that would include the "implications for economic growth, financial growth and inclusion," including as to "the risk of disparate impact to communities who have a long standing history of insufficient access to safe and affordable financial services."
- The support of the U.S. Government to ensure technological advances and the responsible development of digital assets. The President directed government agencies to take definitive steps to develop and implement digital asset systems while prioritizing the data privacy, security and exploitation of investors.
- The exploration of a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency ("CBDC"). The President directed U.S. Government agencies to analyze the "technological infrastructure and capacity needs for a potential U.S. CBDC in a manner that protects Americans’ interests."
Issuance of the Executive Order was accompanied by supportive statements from numerous senior U.S. government and regulatory officials including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen; National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan; Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown; CFTC Chair Rostin Behnam; and CFPB Director Rohit Chopra.
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