According to the White House, a ‘historic’ executive order was signed by US President Joe Biden on crypto assets, which would establish a national policy for these digital assets with six key priorities. This executive order details the first-ever approach by the whole government to address the risks associated with digital assets and their underlying technology as well as harnessing the potential benefits it can offer. This long-awaited executive order for cryptocurrencies was signed on Wednesday. Previously, it had been expected that the US President would sign the order at the end of February. However, the same week, Russia had launched its military operation in Ukraine.
The White House stated that the United States has to maintain technological leadership in the crypto space, which is growing quite rapidly. The announcement said that the executive order outlines a national policy has six key priorities. Different government agencies and departments have been directed by the executive order to come up with policy recommendations within specific timeframes in order to deal with each digital asset priority. The first priority is obviously the protection of US businesses, investors and consumers and the Department of Treasury has been directed by the executive order to come up with policy recommendations for this purpose.
Protecting the US and ensuring global financial stability is the second priority, while the third one is mitigating the national security and illicit finance risks that are associated with the illegal use of crypto assets. According to the White House, the executive order states that there should be focus on coordinated action across all the various agencies of the US government for dealing with the third priority and mitigating the risks. The announcement noted that agencies had also been directed to work with the country’s allies and partners for ensuring that international capabilities, frameworks and partnerships are responsive to risks and properly aligned.
The fourth priority is the responsibility of the Department of Commerce that has to come up with an appropriate framework for ensuring that US remains ahead in technological leadership and in the global financial system and also maintains economic competitiveness. The two remaining priorities in the executive order are for supporting technological progress and ensuring the responsible use and development of digital assets. Plus, they also involve exploring the concept of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Of the six priorities, there is also one that is focused on promoting equitable access to affordable and safe financial services.
The White House said that the secretary of the treasury would work with all relevant agencies for coming up with a report on the future of payments systems and money, which would be submitted to the president in 180 days. Janet Yellen, the Treasury Secretary, said that the historic executive order requires a comprehensive and coordinated approach towards digital asset policy. She said that they would work on addressing the risk pertaining to illicit finance and would protect investors and consumers in order to prevent threats to the broader economy and the financial system.