President Joe Biden signed a first-of-its-kind executive order today calling on the government to examine the risks and benefits of cryptocurrencies.
It’s a long-awaited directive that has had the crypto industry on edge, due to growing regulatory concern around the world surrounding the digital asset market.
The crypto market got wind of the executive order overnight after the Treasury accidentally put out a since-deleted statement calling it “historic” and releasing some of the details ahead of time.
The order was finally signed Wednesday, March 9, 2022. It calls on federal agencies to take a unified approach to regulation and oversight of digital assets, according to a White House fact sheet. Federal agencies will evaluate their approach in six “key priorities” within the digital asset sector, as follows:
- Consumer and investor protection
- Financial stability
- Illicit activity
- U.S. competitiveness on a global stage
- Financial inclusion
- Responsible innovation
The order did not announce any new regulations for which cryptocurrency companies to abide.
A senior administration official struck a neutral tone on digital assets by telling reporters the growth of the cryptocurrency sector could threaten the U.S. financial system, national security or business stability. Without “sufficient oversight,” criminals can use cryptocurrencies to launder funds or evade sanctions, the official said.
“At the same time, however, digital assets can also provide opportunities for American innovation and competitiveness and promote financial inclusion… Innovation is central to America’s story and our economy, generating jobs and opportunities, creating and building new industries, and sustaining our global competitive edge and leadership.”
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