United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has inadvertently leaked a comment on Joe Biden’s planned executive order on crypto assets.
Crypto becomes a matter for the boss
Yellen’s statement, which seems to have been published a day too early, was quickly deleted, but is still available on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. In her statement, she lauds Biden’s executive order as a “coordinated and comprehensive approach to digital asset policy”:
This approach will support responsible innovation that could result in substantial benefits for the nation, consumers, and businesses. It will also address risks related to illicit finance, protecting consumers and investors, and preventing threats to the financial system and broader economy.
The executive order, which is expected to be signed into effect today, will strengthen the coordination between the US Treasury Department and “interagency partners” such as the Financial Stability Oversight Council, the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, the FDIC, and the OCC, as well as international partners. Yellen concludes:
As we take on this important work, we’ll be guided by consumer and investor protection groups, market participants, and other leading experts. Treasury will work to promote a fairer, more inclusive, and more efficient financial system, while building on our ongoing work to counter illicit finance, and prevent risks to financial stability and national security.
Treasury launches Financial Literacy Education Commission
The US Treasury Department has announced that they will be launching an education campaign to spread awareness about the risks involved in digital asset investments. According to Reuters, the Financial Literacy Education Commission recognizes that crypto assets are transitioning from a niche investment market into mainstream financial instruments.
Nellie Liang, Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance comments that this education campaign is targeted at individuals who traditionally have little access to mainstream financial services:
We’re hearing more and more about investors and households who are purchasing crypto assets, and we recognize the complexity of how some of these assets operate. It felt like this is an area also where more education (and) more awareness could be helpful.
Warren drafts bill targeting crypto exchanges
Senator Elizabeth Warren has reportedly drafted a bill that would require crypto exchanges to keep detailed records about their customers’ identities and transaction histories, and to submit this information to the Treasury Department upon request.
Earlier, Warren co-authored a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, expressing concerns that crypto might be used to evade Sanctions against Russian individuals and entities. An NBC News article comments, Warren’s new bill would force exchanges to choose whether they want to do business with US customers, or sanctioned customers.
So far, most crypto exchanges have expressed mixed feelings about enforcing the sanctions. While they are of course bound by national and international regulations, most exchanges rule out a blanket ban on Russian customers. According to industry experts, it is unlikely that the Russian government will use crypto assets on a large scale to evade sanctions.