The fact sheet summarizes the six-month period of research conducted by nine federal entities.
Federal agencies developed a collaborative information sheet on six main directions for cryptocurrency regulation in the United States in response to President Joe Biden’s executive order on ensuring responsible development of digital assets. In order to “articulate a clear framework for responsible digital asset development and prepare the path for additional action at home and abroad,” nine independent studies have been compiled and submitted to the president.
On September 16, the fact sheet was posted on the official website of the White House. It is divided into seven sections: (1) Protecting Consumers, Investors, and Businesses; (2) Promoting Access to Safe, Affordable Financial Services; (3) Fostering Financial Stability; (4) Advancing Responsible Innovation; (5) Reinforcing Our Global Financial Leadership and Competitiveness; (6) Fighting Illicit Finance; and (7) Exploring a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
To emphasize the values and policies that the current administration has been adhering to, several of the parts don’t contain any particularly fresh material. For instance, the studies call for the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission to “aggressively pursue investigations and enforcement actions against unlawful conduct in the digital assets field” in order to protect investors and consumers. However, they keep silent regarding one of the nation’s biggest regulatory issues, the division of duties among regulators.
Federal agencies advise establishing a federal framework for nonbank payment providers and promoting the use of immediate payment systems like FedNow, whose introduction is scheduled by the Federal Reserve for 2023, to increase access to financial services.
The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), which recently released a crucial report on the climate impacts of crypto mining, will develop a Digital Assets Research and Development Agenda as part of advancing responsible innovation efforts in order to help mitigate the adverse climate impacts. The Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other organizations will think about keeping better track on the environmental effects of digital assets with the same objective.
Although the fact sheet asserts that the American agencies will “use American positions in international organizations to express American values” about digital assets, it doesn’t specifically state how these values vary from the rapidly developing European regulatory approach.
The security plan makes specific reference to digital asset service providers, such as exchanges and nonfungible token platforms, in the Bank Secrecy Act modifications, anti-tip-off regulations, and laws against unlicensed money transmission.
The U.S. CBDC is the subject of the fact sheet’s final, but arguably most significant, part. It demonstrates that the administration has already created policy goals for a CBDC system in the US, but more investigation is required on the system’s potential technology underpinnings. The Treasury will lead an interagency working group with the Federal Reserve, the National Economic Council, the National Security Council, and the OSTP as members, thus the intention still seems to be rather serious.