US President Joe Biden is ready to sign a long-awaited executive order related to cryptocurrency regulations this week, said Bloomberg citing anonymous sources. The order will allow federal agencies to study the impact of crypto on the economy.
According to the Bloomberg report, “The order will direct federal agencies to examine potential regulatory changes, as well as the national security and economic impact of digital assets.”
The executive order will reportedly help coordinate the role of agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission on cryptocurrency. Industry actors have long complained that guidance from the SEC and other agencies has been unhelpful as they seek to be compliant with US law.
The order has been around the proverbial corner for some time. Bloomberg initially projected back in January that it might get signed in February, while Yahoo Finance reported in mid-February that President Biden was “expected to issue an executive order next week.” That clearly didn’t happen.
Russia’s war on Ukraine has made the issue more pressing, as sanctions, central banking, and cryptocurrency financing have been in the public consciousness. Instead of using military force, the United States and its allies have been fighting Russia with what the Financial Times has termed “financial warfare.”
Cryptocurrency exchanges and platforms have come in for questioning from lawmakers as to how they comply with the US and international sanctions against Russia and Russia-occupied territories – and even face pressure to ban individual users from those jurisdictions.
Last week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the department will “continue to look at how sanctions work and evaluate whether or not there are leakages.” With regards to crypto leakages, in particular, she added: “It’s not that the sector is completely one where things can be evaded.”
The order will explore the possibility of a new central bank digital currency. The Federal Reserve issued a paper on the topic in January that explores the risks and benefits of US-backed digital currency.
Other studies will be ordered on the impact of a cryptocurrency on competitiveness, the market and technical infrastructure needed, and the environmental impact of bitcoin mining, Reuters reported.
The executive order on cryptocurrency was expected to be issued this week, and it had been in the works long before Russia invaded Ukraine.