All Eyes on Digital Assets EO for Crypto, Blockchain Policy Turns – MeriTalk

Experts in the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology sectors said today that they are looking closely at the results of a Biden administration executive order issued in March on the risks and benefits of digital assets in order to assess whether the federal government and Congress they will make a significant commitment. regulatory changes that would benefit the sectors.

The executive order takes a big step in addressing the risks and benefits of digital assets and encourages federal regulators to consider overseeing these assets to protect themselves from the systemic financial risks they may pose. The order, the White House said earlier this year, describes the “first government-wide approach to addressing the risks and harnessing the potential benefits of digital assets” and the technologies that support them.

In enforcing order directives, several federal agencies will consider a wide range of issues, including consumer and investor protection; financial stability; illicit financing; leadership in the global financial system and economic competitiveness; financial inclusion; and responsible innovation.

In particular, the executive order commissions various agencies from exploratory work that could lead to regulatory changes. Among them, the order asks:

  • The Treasury Department “to address the implications of the growing digital assets sector and changes in financial markets for consumers, investors, businesses and equitable economic growth,” and to study financial stability and related systemic risks;
  • Various agencies to coordinate risk mitigation and work with allies and partners “to ensure that international frameworks, capabilities and partnerships are aligned and responsive”;
  • The Department of Commerce “to work across the United States government to establish a framework for boosting the competitiveness and leadership of the United States in digital asset technologies and their use”; e
  • The Federal Reserve “to continue its research, development and evaluation efforts” for a digital currency of the United States Central Bank (CBDC) “including the development of a plan for broader action by the United States government in support of its work “.

EO Impacts, SEC

At today’s DC Blockchain Summit in Washington hosted by the Digital Chamber of Commerce, the group’s founder and CEO Perianne Boring said she expects federal agency reports derived from the executive order to be far from the last word on any possible policy change because the reports will likely ask Congress to take action.

“It simply came to our notice then [the reports] it will have recommendations that Congress must present, “he predicted.

“As someone who used to work in Congress, I can tell you it’s going to be a multi-year process, so don’t expect significant policy changes this year, this is going to take some time,” Boring said.

Looking at the federal landscape, she pointed to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as the “number one blocker for this industry, having economic progress and bringing an economic boom in this country we haven’t seen in decades.”

Boring said the SEC was slow to act on a number of fronts that would provide regulatory clarity and stimulate market growth.

“We need a basic SEC definition of what digital asset security is, [and] what is in their jurisdiction and what is not, “he said.” It’s not really a complicated question to answer, but they refused to give guidance … they’ve been dragging their feet in it for years. “

“We need a one – time cryptographic ETF [exchange traded fund]. How can we have a futures ETF but not a stock ETF? It doesn’t make sense and it often hurts investors in an incredible way, “he said.

On those and other issues, Boring said “there are things that agencies like the SEC can do right away, but they have been denied.”

“Hopefully this executive order will propose a process and bring it to Congress, but that will take longer than it should,” he said.

Congressional interest is underway

Meanwhile, Congress is not waiting for the conclusions of the executive order for the legislation to be implemented. Speakers at today’s event counted about 40 crypto and blockchain-related bills currently pending in Congress.

Florida Democrat Rep. Darren Soto, who delivered a keynote address to attendees virtually, spoke about two pieces of legislation: the Tab Taxonomy Act, which aims to keep the development of blockchain technology in the US. UU. and the Digital Taxonomy Act introduced by the representative. Soto would direct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report on the agency’s actions related to digital tokens.

One of the goals of the legislation, he said, is to “define what a digital asset is” within the jurisdictions of several federal agencies, including the SEC, the FTC, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

“We are also working with the Digital Chamber on the Digital Commodity Stock Exchange Act to really make the CFTC a major regulator of the stock market,” he said, adding that “we applaud the Digital Chamber for working with us.”

Deputy Soto also applauded the Biden administration “for presenting an executive order to put pen to paper for the agencies so that we can get what we need – and have been waiting for a while – for the agency’s contribution so that we can finally get these bills moving.”

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