Joe Biden has ordered a landmark investigation into the validity of cryptocurrency and the possibility of an official U.S. crypto coin.
President Joe Biden this week signed an executive order mobilising the federal government to investigate and create strategies for digital assets, like cryptocurrency.
The U.S. treasurer, Janet Yellen, stated that the effort could “promote a fairer, more inclusive, and more efficient financial system” while focusing on consumer protection, financial stability, illicit activity, U.S. competitiveness and responsible innovation.
John Collins, former policy head at Coinbase, compared the executive order to the Clinton administration’s “Framework for Global Electronic Commerce”, which in the mid- ‘90s investigated the commercial validity of the internet.
The Biden administration stated that, “…financial innovation of the past has too often not benefited working families, while exacerbating inequality and increasing systemic financial risk.”
Brian Deese and Jake Sullivan, Biden’s top economic and national security advisors, said that the executive order marks a watershed moment as the first exhaustive federal digital assets strategy for the U.S.
“That will help position the U.S. to keep playing a leading role in the innovation and governance of the digital assets ecosystem at home and abroad, in a way that protects consumers, is consistent with our democratic values and advances U.S. global competitiveness,” Deese and Sullivan said this week in a joint statement.
The executive order comes amidst concerns that Russia may be using cryptocurrency to bypass harsh economic sanctions placed on its banks, oligarchs, and industry, by NATO allies since their invasion of Ukraine.
Daleep Singh, a deputy national security and economic adviser to Biden, stated that “crypto’s really not a workaround for our sanctions.”
Despite comments that the crypto realm is like the Wild West, Coinbase Global, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. has said the company had not seen a recent surge in sanctions evasion activity.
According to the White House, more than 100 countries have begun investigating establishing their own digital sovereign currencies.
However, there has been a mixed response to government regulation of the crypto market.
Katherine Dowling, general counsel for Bitwise Asset Management, said an executive order that offers greater legal clarity on government oversight would be “a long-term positive for crypto.”
Contrarily, Hilary Allen, a financial regulation professor at American University, warned that moving too quickly on crypto could create overlooked vulnerabilities.
“As crypto becomes integrated into our financial system it creates vulnerabilities not just to those who are investing in crypto but for everybody who participates in economy.”
It looks like getting a slice of the crypto pie will soon be easier than ever for Americans and the world as we move slowly towards a cashless society.