WASHINGTON: The White House today released its much-awaited “fact sheet” on cryptocurrencies, as President Joe Biden prepares to sign an executive order guaranteeing “responsible innovation in digital assets.”
The government says it aims to set out a “whole of government” strategy to protect consumers, financial stability and national security, while tackling “climate risks”.
Asia Markets may publish the fact sheet in its entirety here:
Digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, have seen explosive growth in recent years, surpassing a market capitalization of $3 trillion last November and up from $14 billion five years prior. Surveys suggest that around 16% of American adults – around 40 million people – have invested in, traded in, or used cryptocurrencies. More than 100 countries are exploring or piloting central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), a digital form of a country’s sovereign currency.
The rise of digital assets creates an opportunity to strengthen American leadership in the global financial system and at the technology frontier, but also has substantial implications for consumer protection, financial stability, national security, and climate risk. The United States must maintain its technological leadership in this rapidly growing space, supporting innovation while mitigating risks to consumers, businesses, the broader financial system, and the climate. And, it must play a leading role in international engagement and global governance of digital assets in accordance with democratic values and the global competitiveness of the United States.
That’s why today, President Biden will sign an executive order outlining the first-ever whole-of-government approach to addressing the risks and harnessing the potential benefits of digital assets and their underlying technology. The Order defines a national policy for digital assets around six key priorities: consumer and investor protection; financial stability; illicit financing; US leadership in the global financial system and economic competitiveness; financial inclusion; and responsible innovation.
Specifically, the executive order calls for action to:
Protecting American Consumers, Investors and Businesses directing the Treasury Department and other partner agencies to assess and develop policy recommendations to address the implications of the growth of the digital asset industry and changes in financial markets for consumers, investors, businesses and equitable economic growth. The order also encourages regulators to provide sufficient oversight and protect against any systemic financial risk posed by digital assets.
Protect U.S. and Global Financial Stability and Mitigate Systemic Risk encouraging the Financial Stability Supervisory Board to identify and mitigate economy-wide (i.e. systemic) financial risks posed by digital assets and develop appropriate policy recommendations to address any regulatory gaps.
Mitigate the illicit finance and national security risks posed by the illicit use of digital assets leading unprecedented coordinated action among all relevant US government agencies to mitigate these risks. It also calls on agencies to work with our allies and partners to ensure international frameworks, capabilities and partnerships are aligned and responsive to risk.
Promote American leadership in technology and economic competitiveness to strengthen American leadership in the global financial system directing the Department of Commerce to work across the U.S. government to establish a framework to drive U.S. competitiveness and leadership and leverage digital asset technologies. This framework will serve as the basis for agencies and integrate it as a priority in their policy, research and development and operational approaches to digital assets.
Promoting equitable access to safe and affordable financial services affirming the critical need for safe, affordable, and accessible financial services as a U.S. national interest that must inform our approach to digital asset innovation, including disparate impact risks. Such secure access is particularly important for communities that have long had insufficient access to financial services. The Secretary of the Treasury, in conjunction with all relevant agencies, will produce a report on the future of monetary and payment systems, which will include implications for economic growth, financial growth and inclusion, national security and measurement in which technological innovation can influence this. to come up.
Support technological advances and ensure responsible development and use of digital assets calling on the U.S. government to take concrete steps to explore and support technological advances in the responsible development, design, and implementation of digital asset systems while prioritizing privacy, security, combating illegal logging and reducing negative climate impacts.
Explore a US Central Bank (CBDC) Digital Currency putting urgency on the research and development of a potential CBDC in the United States, should the show be deemed to be in the national interest. The order directs the U.S. government to assess the technology infrastructure and capacity needs of a potential U.S. CBDC in a manner that protects American interests. The Order also encourages the Federal Reserve to continue its research, development, and evaluation efforts for a U.S. CBDC, including the development of a broader U.S. government action plan in support of its work. . This effort prioritizes U.S. participation in multi-country experimentation and provides U.S. leadership internationally to promote CBDC development that is consistent with U.S. democratic priorities and values.
The administration will continue to collaborate across agencies and with Congress to establish policies that protect against risk and guide responsible innovation, with our allies and partners to develop aligned international capabilities that address national security risks, and with the private sector to study and support technological advances. in digital assets.