According to those familiar with the administration’s preparations, President Joe Biden is expected to issue an executive order this week outlining the US government’s cryptocurrency strategy.
According to the sources familiar with the discussions, the order will urge federal agencies to look into potential regulatory reforms, as well as the national security and economic implications of digital assets. After the United States and its allies imposed sanctions on Russia, there was worry that organisations and individuals could utilise crypto to circumvent the restrictions.
Industry executives complain about a lack of clarity on rules, and the Biden administration is under pressure to play a more coordinating role in Washington’s approach to the asset class. According to Bloomberg News, the presidential order, which has been in the works since last year, will require federal agencies across the government to report on their plans for digital tokens later this year. From the State Department to the Commerce Department, the strategy is likely to start defining out roles for departments across the government.
The White House directive is also expected to address the idea of a U.S.-issued central bank digital currency, or CBDC, though it is unlikely to take a clear stance because the Federal Reserve is still looking into the matter. In a document published in January, the central bank stated that a US CBDC may help maintain the dollar’s dominance as other countries, such as China, embrace the technology.
Meanwhile, politicians such as Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown are closely scrutinising the crypto industry, citing fears that the digital assets could be used to circumvent sanctions. However, given the small scale of the market, several researchers and officials have questioned how effective a workaround crypto could be.
On Monday, Him Das, the acting director of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, spoke about the matter. “While we have not witnessed widespread evasion of our sanctions utilising means such as cryptocurrencies,” he stated in a news release, “early reporting of suspicious conduct adds to our national security and our efforts to protect Ukraine and its people.”