Biden Issues Executive Order on Crypto

  • Joe Biden’s 82nd executive order requires government agencies to coordinate the creation of a national framework for crypto, and explore the potential of U.S. CBDC.
  • The Crypto Council for Innovation noted the order would likely lead to a much needed regulatory clarity around digital assets in the U.S..

President Joe Biden delivering remarks to Department of Defense personnel, Washington DC, USA – February 10, 2021 BiksuTong/Shutterstock

U.S. President Joe Biden has signed his 82nd executive order, addressing the need for a regulatory framework for digital assets in the country, The White House said in a press release on 9 March.

According to the executive order, federal agencies will need to take a unified approach to coordinate and consolidate a national policy framework for cryptocurrencies, as well as explore the potential of a U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC). The President also directed the agencies to address the risks of crypto — such as consumer protection issues, national security, and threats to the financial system — while also supporting crypto innovation in the U.S. so the country can maintain its “technological leadership in this rapidly growing space”. The executive order reads:

“We must reinforce United States leadership in the global financial system and in technological and economic competitiveness, including through the responsible development of payment innovations and digital assets.”

Lawmakers were quick to make remarks on the executive order, with Senator Elizabeth Warren noting the the President was “right to spotlight crypto’s risks”, and that the U.S. needed “strong rules before it’s too late”. On the other hand, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen voiced her approval of the order, saying it could result in “substantial benefits for the nation” as it supported innovation while addressing industry risks.

The crypto community has been speculating about the executive order since it was announced in October 2021, with many being concerned it could call for a regulatory crackdown on crypto in the U.S.. The industry, however, breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday, with many taking to Twitter to share their thoughts.

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried called the executive order “constructive”, while Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire applaud it for its focus on the rapid growth of crypto. The Crypto Council for Innovation, a coalition of crypto firms formed in April, noted the order had a “holistic and informed” approach to crypto, and that it would likely lead to regulatory clarity around digital assets in the U.S..

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