U.S. President Issues Executive Order on Digital Asset Regulation

On 9 March 2022, U.S. President Joseph R Biden Jr issued an Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets[1] (the Digital Asset Executive Order) initiating a comprehensive approach to cryptocurrency regulation and oversight aimed at striking the right balance between the opportunities and risks cryptocurrencies present. With ever increasing innovation in digital assets and the rise in interest in and ownership of the new asset class, the Executive Order marks a watershed moment for the U.S. cryptocurrency landscape by ordering the various U.S. federal agencies to adopt a unified approach to digital asset regulation and consult their international counterparts in a bid to achieve international collaboration on appropriate development and regulation of digital assets.

The Executive Order also orders urgent research into the benefits and risks of a digital U.S. dollar, that is a U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC), and its potential design and deployment options. Otherwise, the executive order seeks to foster responsible financial innovation by focusing on equal access to safe and affordable financial services, reduced fund transfer and payment costs, consumer protection and climate change issues and countering the use of cryptocurrencies in financial crime. The Executive Order is wide-reaching ordering action in six principal areas: consumer and investor protection; financial stability; financial crime; U.S. financial leadership and competitive advantage; responsible innovation; and financial efficiency and inclusion.

Contributing Advisors

Julia Charlton