White House publishes ‘first time’ comprehensive framework for crypto

Following US President Joe Biden’s executive order to ensure the responsible development of digital assets, federal agencies issued a joint fact sheet on six main directions for crypto regulation in the US. It summarizes the contents of nine separate reports, which have been submitted. to the president to “design a clear framework for the responsible development of digital assets and pave the way for further action at home and abroad.”

The fact sheet was published on the official White House website on September 16, and consists of seven sections: (1) Protecting consumers, investors and businesses; (2) Promote access to safe, affordable financial services; (3) Promote financial stability; (4) Promote responsible innovation; (5) Strengthen our global financial leadership and competitiveness; (6) Combating Illicit Finance; (7) Exploring a US central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Some of the sections do not contain much new information, and once again emphasize the principles and guidelines that the President’s administration has adhered to. To protect consumers and investors, the reports, for example, call on regulators — the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission — to “aggressively pursue investigations and enforcement actions against illegal practices in the digital asset space.” At the same time, they do not say anything special about the regulators’ separation of duties, which is still one of the most important regulatory problems in the country.

To promote access to financial services, federal agencies recommend creating a federal framework for non-bank payment providers and encouraging the use of instant payment systems such as FedNow, whose launch is planned by the Federal Reserve in 2023.

As part of promoting responsible innovation efforts, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), which recently published a critical report on the climate effects of cryptomining, will develop a Digital Assets Research and Development Agenda to help mitigate the negative climate. impacts. With the same goal, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies will consider additional tracking of digital assets’ environmental impacts.

Related: The Chamber of Digital Commerce says ‘the time has come for the SEC to approve a Bitcoin ETF

Although the fact sheet claims that the US agencies will “leverage US positions in international organizations to send messages of US values” related to digital assets, it does not specify exactly how those values ​​differ from the rapidly growing European regulatory approach.

The security strategy means that the changes to the Bank Secrecy Act, anti-tip-off statutes and anti-unlicensed money transfer laws will apply explicitly to providers of digital assets, including exchanges and non-fungible token platforms.

The last, but perhaps the most important part of the fact sheet is dedicated to the US CBDC. It reveals that the administration has already developed policy goals for a US CBDC system, but further research into the possible technological basis for this system is needed. Nevertheless, the intention seems quite serious as the Treasury will lead an interagency task force with the participation of the Federal Reserve, National Economic Council, National Security Council and OSTP.