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March 12, 2022

Biden’s Crypto Executive Order

The much awaited Executive Order (EO) from the Biden administration, called “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets,” was published yesterday (3/9/22). It has been a cloud over the crypto markets over the past few months, with uncertainty running rampant. The community was concerned, especially with the rhetoric seen from Gary Gensler and Elizabeth Warren. The EO was a refreshing, optimistic view on crypto from the administration and was well received by the community.

The EO published yesterday was very positive for the market, where we saw Bitcoin and Ethereum rise by ~9% and ~5%, respectively. In my opinion, the EO is exactly what we needed from the Biden administration and regulators - a cool and collecting thought process as we approach this fast evolving space. The EO is focused on directing federal agencies to research and understand the space, while thinking through regulations that will help cultivate and grow the sector.

Big Takeaways:

  1. Protect investors

  2. Ensure the US leads in financial and tech innovation

  3. Push research of CBDC (central bank digital currencies) and figure out next steps (report from Treasury Department in 6 months)

  4. Examine each agencies (e.g. FTC, SEC, CFTC, CFPB), respective jurisdictions, and how they may need to evaluate policies for consumer privacy and protections

  5. Study the Implications of energy policy - this section is focused on how crypto mining and how it may impact the space/society

  6. FSOC to work on a research report on market integrity and systemic risk in relation to the space

  7. Treasury to report on illicit activities in the space and general KYC/AML implications

The EO highlights that we will likely not see rushed regulation from Congress (Warren going crazy, but doubt Dems would challenge POTUS) and that Biden was able to steer clear from alarmist headlines and propose a methodical approach to the sector. One thing I found interesting was the lack of tax commentary in the bill, no mention of the IRS, and how we should report earnings. That is a big question mark, and I was surprised it wasn’t included.

Punchline:  USA is unlikely to ban crypto and will likely want to foster the space to retain innovation, growth and economic returns within its borders. Long live Bitcoin? Not financial advice, obviously.

Thank you for reading!

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