Biden To Sign Executive Order on Cryptos Today, Cryptos Take Off Following Announcement
President Joe Biden will sign an executive order today that will outline “the first ever, whole-of-government approach to addressing the risks and harnessing the potential benefits of digital assets and their underlying technology.” Following the release of the order, which was accidentally leaked on March 8, cryptos soared.
Bitcoin was up 8.4% in the past 24 hours, while ether was up 6.5%, according to CoinMarketCap.
The order lays out a national policy for digital assets across seven key priorities, according to a White House fact sheet:
- Consumer and investor protection
- Financial stability
- Illicit finance
- U.S. leadership in economic competitiveness and the global financial system
- Equitable access to financial services
- Responsible innovation
- Research and development of a central bank digital currency
Ari Redbord, a former senior advisor for the U.S. Treasury Department and now head of Legal and Government Affairs at blockchain intelligence company TRM Labs, told GOBankingRates that while the executive order does not lay out specific policy directives, it tasks regulators to urgently work on a unified approach to crypto regulation.
“The real work will be done by the agencies in that process. That said, the order is extraordinary in that there is as much focus on the power and promise of crypto — from financial inclusion, the growth of the crypto economy and the need for American technological leadership,” Redbord said. “We have seen a lot of action by regulators in the crypto space, but what we have not seen is this type of clarion call for U.S. leadership in the digital space race. That is what we see here.”
In remarks posted on the White House website, Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that the order — which is the product of months of work with stakeholders across government, industry, advocacy, academia and international alliances and partnerships — 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 America’s democratic values and advances U.S. global competitiveness.
“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 said in the remarks.
According to the White House, cryptocurrencies reached a $3 trillion market cap last November, up from $14 billion just five years prior. Surveys suggest that around 16% of adult Americans — approximately 40 million people — have invested in, traded or used cryptocurrencies, and more than 100 countries are exploring or piloting central bank digital currencies, which are a digital form of a country’s sovereign currency.
“We welcome this development because it further proves our industry is no longer the wild west,” Josh Olszewicz, head of research at Valkyrie Funds, told GOBankingRates.
“Regulation is good, and regulatory clarity will help enable more people to enter our industry either as entrepreneurs or as investors,” Olszewicz said. “For now, though, it appears this will be more of a fact-finding directive rather than a rule-making one, and we will have to wait for further guidance from authorities, though it is good to know that work is being done to effectively oversee our markets without hindering innovation.”
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called the order “historic.”
“This approach will support responsible innovation that could result in substantial benefits for the nation, consumers, and businesses. It will also address risks related to illicit finance, protecting consumers and investors, and preventing threats to the financial system and broader economy,” she said in a statement.
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