Biden’s Crypto Executive Order — Here’s What You Need to Know

On Wednesday, President Biden signed an Executive Order to Ensure Responsible Development of Digital Assets.

Our industry has waited for action from Washington and received these documents which activate “the first ever, whole-of-government approach to addressing the risks and harnessing the potential benefits of digital assets and their underlying technology.”

During the next 90 to 210 days, senior administrators will present findings to the President. 

While we wait — here’s what you need to know: 

  1. Not much has happened, yet. The order does signal that over the rest of this year, we should get some policy clarity across multiple domains.

  2. President Biden presented 6 key priorities to ensure responsible development of digital assets:
    • Consumer and investor protection
    • Financial stability
    • Illicit finance
    • U.S. leadership in the global financial system and economic competitiveness 
    • Financial inclusion
    • Responsible innovation

  3. The order signals that a long list of administrators will present policies that mitigate risks and guide responsible innovation for digital assets. The list includes, but is not limited to:
    • The Secretary of State
    • The Secretary of the Treasury
    • The Secretary of Defense
    • The Attorney General
    • The Secretary of Commerce
    • The Secretary of Homeland Security

  4. The U.S. will continue to explore a Central Bank Digital Currency as it sees fit. Here’s a quote,

    The Order directs the U.S. Government to assess the technological infrastructure and capacity needs for a potential U.S. CBDC in a manner that protects Americans’ interests.

  5. The White House wants to fully understand both the benefits and risks of blockchain technology then looks to legitimize and regulate it within the U.S.

  6. Crypto markets first moved higher on the news, but at the time of this publishing retraced most of the advance. Who knows if the volatility was related to the release of the Executive Order. Your guess is as good as ours.

TL;DR — This Executive Order acknowledges crypto, the continuing growth and evolution of the industry, and its emerging role within the global financial system. It previews the regulations ahead.

Here are additional resources for those looking to learn more:

Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets | The White House 

Statement by NEC Director Brian Deese and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on New Digital Assets Executive Order | The White House 

FACT SHEET: President Biden to Sign Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets | The White House