White House reportedly preparing executive order on crypto

In the next weeks, Joe Biden’s White House is anticipated to publish an executive order outlining the US government’s plans for digital assets.

The executive order would be released in a national security memorandum, according to a source “familiar with the White House’s strategy.” With the purpose of building a workable regulatory framework, Biden’s memorandum would designate some government institutions to research crypto, stablecoins, and nonfungible tokens (NFT).

The following is what the source was cited as saying:

“This is intended to take a comprehensive approach to digital assets and produce a set of regulations that bring the government’s efforts in this area together.”

In recent days, there have been rumors about a possible presidential order on cryptocurrency. Forbes reported earlier this week that those federal agencies will likely release reports on their findings by mid-2022, focusing on “the systemic hazards of cryptocurrencies and their criminal uses.”

A cryptocurrency is a cross-border tool for moving money, so the executive order falls under national security. The administration may seek synchronized international legislation with other countries due to the capacity of decentralized blockchain technology to avoid geo-specific surveillance or rules.

The Biden Administration’s perception of crypto as a national security danger may possibly be behind the continuous rejections of Bitcoin (BTC) spot ETFs, according to senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas of Bloomberg.

In a tweet on Jan. 28, he called the new developments a “broader crypto crackdown.”

Broader crackdown

The America COMPETES Act, a piece of legislation that concerns the crypto business, was sponsored by House Democrats on Jan. 25. One section in the draught bill, according to Jerry Brito, Executive Director of Washington, D.C.-based think tank Coin Center, would allow the Treasury Secretary to prohibit crypto exchanges from operating without prior notice.

Meanwhile, proponents in Congress are working to smooth out the rough edges of legislation that has already been passed. A bipartisan group of House Representatives has asked Biden-nominated Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to clarify aspects of the Infrastructure Bill that pertain to digital assets, echoing the pleas of crypto industry experts. The Infrastructure Bill was signed into law in November amid some controversy because it includes miners, software developers, transaction validators, and node operators in its definition of a ‘broker.’

Some brokers, as defined in the bill, do not have the ability to verify information about senders and receivers of crypto as required by law, according to a group of bipartisan lawmakers who proposed narrowing the scope of what information a broker can obtain on Jan. 26 to avoid creating an “un-level playing field for transactions in digital assets and those required to provide them.” This inquiry has yet to receive a response from Yellen.