The US government plans to carefully examine the benefits and risks of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (opens in new tab) following a new executive order from President Biden.
While the executive order has now been signed by President Biden (opens in new tab), the cryptocurrency market became aware of it early as the US Treasury accidentally released a statement calling the move “historic” the day before it was released. The now deleted statement also included some of the details of the executive order ahead of time which led to an eight percent jump in the price of Bitcoin.
President Biden's latest executive order calls on federal agencies to take a unified approach to both the regulation and oversight of digital assets. The White House provided further details in a press release (opens in new tab) on the areas that will be prioritized going forward, saying:
“The Order lays out a national policy for digital assets across six key priorities: consumer and investor protection; financial stability; illicit finance; U.S. leadership in the global financial system and economic competitiveness; financial inclusion; and responsible innovation.”
Whole-of-government approach to crypto
One of the main areas President Biden's executive order is focusing on is the protection of US consumers, investors and businesses when it comes to investing in crypto due to the high number of crypto scams over the years.
The US government plans to do this by directing the Department of the Treasury and other federal agencies to develop policy recommendations aimed at addressing the implications of the cryptocurrency market (opens in new tab) and changes in the financial market. However, the executive order also encourages regulators to “safeguard against any systemic financial risks posed by digital assets”.
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While consumers have begun investing in and using cryptocurrency, so too have cybercriminals (opens in new tab) which is why President Biden wants to mitigate the illicit finance and national security risks posed by digital assets. To do this, federal agencies will need to work together though international collaboration will be needed as well.
Since mining bitcoin (opens in new tab) and other cryptocurrencies requires a great deal of energy, President Biden also wants the US government to take a closer look at how to make the process more environmentally friendly. Although the executive order doesn't call for the creation of a digital dollar, it does suggest researching and developing a US Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC (opens in new tab)) if it would be in the best interest of the country.
Even though this wasn't the sweeping regulation around cryptocurrencies that many expected, new regulations could arrive as a result of President Biden's executive order once federal agencies have a chance to further investigate the six key priority areas laid out in it.
- We've also rounded up the best bitcoin wallets (opens in new tab) and the best mining rigs (opens in new tab)
Via CNBC (opens in new tab)