The White House is said to be issuing an executive order early next week directing government agencies to study various aspects of the digital asset space with the goal of creating a comprehensive regulatory framework.
In a Thursday report from Yahoo! Finance, Jennifer Schonberger said, that an official familiar with the matter within the Biden administration revealed that the executive order could arrive as soon as next week. Reportedly, the directive from President Biden will order the Attorney General's Office, the State Department, and the Treasury Department to study a potential US central bank digital currency offering.
In addition, newly appointed Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy Alondra Nelson will provide an assessment of the infrastructure needed for the United States to support the digital dollar. The agency reportedly plans to issue a report to the US president within 180 days, with an update on its environmental impact expected within 545 days.
Under the executive order, the Financial Stability Oversight Board will study financial stability issues arising from the introduction of cryptocurrencies. The Securities and Exchange Commission, the CFTC, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency will consider measures to protect the markets and report to the President on ways to mitigate risks in relation to cryptocurrencies.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Office of the Attorney General will study the impact of digital assets on market competition. The director and head of the two agencies listed above will, respectively, review privacy concerns for the area.
In all, the executive order — the 81st president that Biden has signed since taking office in January 2021 — will be used to develop a comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets in the United States. The previous administration issued 220 executive orders over four years, while President Barack Obama issued 276 orders during his two terms.
Cryptocurrencies have rarely been mentioned in executive orders during US history. And this technology has only existed through the last three administrations.
In March 2018, Donald Trump issued an order preventing US residents from engaging in transactions of “any digital currency, cryptocurrency, or digital token” issued by the government of Venezuela, referring to the country's Petro token. The former president also mentioned “cryptocurrency fraud” in a July 2018 order establishing a task force to address market integrity.
Another order issued by President Obama in 2015 hinted that authorities would be able to seize digital assets linked to “malicious activities.” The executive measure essentially allowed officials to seize "money or other assets" without "prior notice of inclusion or identification" under the national emergency law. In March 2021, President Biden extended the order until April 2022. Since that time, the Department of Justice and other government agencies have formed a task force to track and confiscate digital assets associated with illicit transactions.