Close Look Regulation

Janet Yellen Let Slip Details of Biden‘s Executive Order on Crypto


The Treasury’s statement came a day early and was removed from the site, but not before the details of how Secretary Yellen plans to respond to President Biden‘s forthcoming order.

A statement from United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on President Joe Biden’s executive order regarding digital assets calls for efforts to support innovation while addressing risk in the industry.

Yellen’s statement was released a day early, apparently by error, and quickly deleted but was captured on a web archive. It shares early insights into the details of President Biden’s soon-to-be-released executive order. The order will call for “a coordinated and comprehensive approach to digital asset policy.”

Yellen’s statement said that the executive order could “result in substantial benefits for the nation, consumers, and businesses.”

“It will also address risks related to illicit finance, protecting consumers and investors, and preventing threats to the financial system and broader economy.”

Yellen also outlined the next step the Treasury Department will take in learning to understand digital assets and how to regulate them within the parameters of the executive order.

President Biden’s White House has been working on an executive order related to digital assets since January. An unnamed source told Barron’s said will help “give coherency to what the government is trying to do in this space.”

To assist the Treasury in its efforts, other agencies will collaborate to create a report “on the future of money and payment systems.” This will be done with input from international actors in order to “promote robust standards and a level playing field.”

Treasury will also convene the Financial Stability Oversight Council to determine if “appropriate safeguards” exist. These efforts will be added to the ongoing work that Yellen said her department has already undertaken with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regarding stablecoins.

The statement suggested that the executive order will have global implications, as “we will work with our international partners to promote robust standards and a level playing field.”

Yellen also said that Treasury will continue to work with investor protection groups and various experts, and that:

“Treasury will work to promote a fairer, more inclusive, and more efficient financial system, while building on our ongoing work to counter illicit finance, and prevent risks to financial stability and national security.”

There has been a mixed reaction so far from prominent members of the crypto community. Founder of Week In Ethereum Evan Van Ness called the statement a “nothingburger of a statement.”

But Altered State Machine (ASM) founder Aaron McDonald shared somewhat more grave feelings about the statement. He tweeted that Yellen’s sentiments show she is looking for a way to “Make sure we maintain the most powerful weapon in our military. USD as global settlement.” CRYPTOCASTER® - DECENTRALIZED FREEDOM!

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