White House Publishes Framework for Digital Assets Development

  • The White House published a fact sheet which summarized the reports from 9 federal agencies used to develop its framework and policies for digital assets.
  • The reports not only called for more regulatory guidance for crypto companies, but also emphasized the importance of a potential U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency.
President-elect Joe Biden

President-elect Joe Biden discusses the Affordable Care Act and his health care plans in Wilmington, 16 November 2020. Shutterstock

U.S. federal agencies have submitted 9 separate reports in response to President Joe Biden’s executive order from March, articulating a “clear framework for responsible digital assets development”.

The White House published a fact sheet on 16 September summarizing the content of the 9 reports, which developed a framework and policies for digital assets that will advance the “six key priorities” outlined in the President’s executive order, which include: consumer and investor protection; promoting financial stability; countering illicit finance; U.S. leadership in the global financial system; financial inclusion; and responsible innovation. The White House noted in its press release:

“The nine reports submitted to the President to date reflect the input and expertise of diverse stakeholders across government, industry, academia, and civil society. Together, they articulate a clear framework for responsible digital asset development and pave the way for further action at home and abroad.”

One of the sections in the fact sheet encouraged the U.S. Treasury and financial regulators to provide additional regulatory guidance, best-practices sharing, and technical assistance to digital asset projects and companies who wished to follow the law. Another directed the Department of Commerce to provide help to financial technology and digital asset firms “find a foothold in global markets for their products”.

The reports also emphasized the need to protect consumers and investors, and urged regulators — such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission — to “aggressively” pursue investigations and enforcement actions against bad actors in the digital assets space.

Another big talk point of the reports was exploring the possibility of a United States-based Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). According to the federal agencies, issuing a digital dollar could offer significant benefits to the country, as well as help preserve its global financial leadership. The technology, however, needed further research and the Federal Reserve was encouraged to continue its ongoing experimentation with CBDC. The Treasury will also form an interagency CBDC work group with the Federal Reserve, National Economic Council, National Security Council, and the OSTP.

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