On Friday, Bloomberg reported that members of the Biden White House are working on a sweeping executive order regarding cryptocurrencies that contains roles and responsibilities for a large section of the executive branch of government.
Thus far, Congress, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commision, as well as the Presidential Working Group have all been haphazard in their policy approach – or lack thereof – regarding cryptocurrencies.
It’s reported that the president’s executive order will require virtually all federal agencies to assess the challenges, opportunities, and threats that the crypto asset class presents. It’s also expected that the agencies will have to present an outline or framework report in the second half of this year, as to how they can most effectively address those dynamics posed by crypto within their respective areas of oversight and responsibility.
The article goes on to state that top officials within Biden’s inner circle have held several meetings regarding the intent and focus of the executive order during its drafting and development. It’s a safe bet to assume that the political motivation of this exercise is to position President Biden as a decisive leader who gets things done. That’s despite the stalled progress on virtually all his major initiatives including: climate change, jobs creation, curbing inflation, healthcare reform, child care, the massive Build Back Better Act, and getting a handle on COVID-19.
But he has to do something since Congress is unlikely to pick-up cryptocurrency legislation this session because Democrats need to keep razor-thin majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate. To do that, they need to secure big legislative wins that will help them win at the midterm elections this November. Even though 86% of voter-aged Americans have heard of cryptocurrencies, only 16% of adults have actually bought or traded any type of digital money – crypto is not enough of a priority to compel voters to the voting booths.
But that doesn’t seem to be deterring the White House from manufacturing some kind of policy win that it can showcase as a success. The news article states that the most recent draft of the executive directive touches on a variety of areas such as crypto’s impact on national security, the economy, and possible need to create a unique regulatory framework for digital assets. We’ll have to see if this is just political navel gazing that demands the agencies to study the topic further or an executive edict that actually takes some kind of action.