White House Executive Order on Cryptocurrencies & Digital Assets: What Does it Mean for You?
On March 9, the White House issued an executive order to address the euphoria around cryptocurrencies and digital assets. This policy statement from the White House is indeed quite comprehensive, detailing the administration's position focusing on Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) or "Digital Dollar" and digital assets. It recognizes the advances in distributed ledger technology (DLT, aka blockchain) and its impact on financial services. The order further emphasizes that domestic laws and regulations govern the products emanating from the advances in cryptocurrencies. Monitory authorities around the world are exploring the potential of CBDC. The White House, through this policy, expresses its awareness and strong involvement in the technological innovation of cryptocurrencies and in protecting the consumers, businesses, and investors.
The policy's objectives cover a wide range of technological advancements, modernizing the public payment system, global financial stability, cybercrime, energy consumption, and climate change. The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy will coordinate the effort among several cabinet departments, directorates, and councils. Most notable is the involvement of the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Director of the National Science Foundation. The agencies mentioned in the policy statement will discover, explore, study, design, and develop artifacts and report back to Congress within a specified period about the opportunities around digital assets, their feasibilities, and concerns. For example, within 90 days of this order, the respective agencies report to Congress and the president about illicit crime around cryptocurrencies and digital assets. Particular emphasis is given to a report (due within 180 days) about the broader adoption of digital assets, the future of payment systems, and the design, development, and implications of CBDC.
The executive order also expects the cabinet departments and councils to reach out and seek the cooperation of their counterparts in the international organizations such as G7 and G20 and financial organizations FTF and FSB. It also proposes using blockchain, the underlying infrastructure of cryptocurrencies and digital assets, to monitor economic impact and climate impacts. This action is expected to enable appropriate measures (policies) to mitigate the detrimental effects of crypto-related activities on natural resources and the environment.
The policy order defines five terms: blockchain, CBDC, cryptocurrencies, digital assets, and stablecoins. These terms are indeed the focal points around which revolves the position of the White House on cryptocurrencies and CDBC. This policy statement has a clear timeline and roadmap with specific charges to the various cabinet departments and financial agencies such as Federal Reserve. With this executive order, the U.S. government has announced that it is all-hands-on-deck to streamline crypto-related activities for including all and taking a leadership role in advancing responsible technology and economic innovations.
This order will evoke significant chatter from street corners to stock markets. It will surely encourage individuals and businesses not to stay on the sidelines, but get started by examining the impact in their operations and plans for blockchain and digital assets.
We plan to continue watching and reporting periodically to keep you informed. To be continued.