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The White House puts crypto in the crosshairs

white-house-cryptocurrency-regulation-thefutureparty
White House // Illustration by Kate Walker

The White House puts crypto in the crosshairs

 

Future. President Biden signed an executive order to get nearly every relevant federal agency to ramp up research on cryptocurrencies and the idea of a digital dollar. Crypto bulls may welcome the methodical approach, while crypto bears moan the lack of regulation… but ultimately, the executive order is a reminder to most Americans that the crypto industry is still in its Wild West stages.

What’s in your wallet?
The White House has a lot of questions about crypto. So, President Biden signed an executive order to get some answers.

  • The “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets” order asks the Treasury Department and SEC to see how cryptocurrencies affect everything — positive and negative — from the economy to climate to national security.
  • It directs the Commerce Department to develop a “comprehensive framework” of how the U.S. can enter the digital asset space.
  • Further, it calls for the Federal Reserve to continue researching how a digital dollar could be implemented.
  • The order also directs the Justice Department to assess whether issuing a digital dollar would require new legislation and, if so, draft it up.

The White House described Biden’s executive order as “the first ever, whole-of-government approach to addressing the risks and harnessing the potential benefits of digital assets and their underlying technology.”

Floor regulation
Crypto companies and enthusiasts were big fans of the order, and Bitcoin’s value soared by 10%. That’s because the order doesn’t immediately regulate the crypto industry but instead takes a “let’s gather all the facts and the regulate” approach that many say will lead to sensible and positive legislation.

Meanwhile, those that are more bullish on crypto see the order as The White House just punting the issue until after the midterms — agencies have about 180 days to create the initial reports, which means legislation is even farther down the line. SEC chair Gary Gensler believes that crypto should be regulated like securities such as stocks and bonds, while the crypto industry is pushing for oversight to fall under the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The financial battle rages on…

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