Powers On... Biden Accepts Blockchain Technology, Recognizes Its Benefits, And Pushes For Its Adoption – Cointelegraph Magazine

On March 9, US President Joe Biden issued a fairly comprehensive decree who leads no less than two dozen cabinet members, government ...


On March 9, US President Joe Biden issued a fairly comprehensive decree who leads no less than two dozen cabinet members, government departments and agencies to study the pros and cons of blockchain technology for various aspects of the US economy. There has been a lot already written about the implications of the executive order. I will add to this speech and also offer some predictions, which few have made, of what the industry might expect to gain from the various government studies and reports over the next year.


Powering up… is a monthly opinion column by Marc Powers, who spent much of his 40-year legal career working complex US securities cases after a stint at the SEC. He is now an adjunct professor at Florida International University College of Law, where he teaches a course on “Blockchain & the Law.”


President Biden issued his executive order in a surprising act of executive power. No one really expected it to happen the way it did, with most believing that legislative action would be proposed sometime this year. I don’t recall reading anywhere that an executive order, especially without legislative action, would be proposed. Instead, our president instantly edged out – pardon the ill-conceived pun – former Vice President Al Gore, who under President Bill Clinton in the 1990s became a leading man in adoption and Internet support by the administration. By simply issuing the Executive Order, President Biden will forever be recognized as the American President who materially advanced technology and its various use cases.

A general theme that runs through the executive order is the direction that various government departments and agencies coordinate, and that they do so within a relatively tight timeframe of reporting. The president himself order that each of the various government bodies investigate specific topics to be covered in the report. For example:

Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, Attorney General, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Homeland Security, Director of the Office of Management and of the budget, the director of national intelligence and the heads of other relevant agencies should submit a report to the president on the future of monetary and payment systems, including the conditions that lead to the widespread adoption of digital assets; the extent to which technological innovation may affect these results; and implications for the U.S. financial system, payment system modernization and changes, economic growth, financial inclusion, and national security.”

Remarkably, we also see an official acknowledgment of concern and a direction the report is looking at, the fact that China has sought to disrupt the global dominance of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency with its digital yuan projects during the last years. The executive order requests that the report discuss ways that “foreign CBDCs could displace existing currencies and alter the payment system in ways that undermine the financial position of the United States. centrality [emphasis added].” In other words, what should the United States do to protect the reserve currency status of the dollar?

The President also encourages the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Jay Powell, to continue his research and report on CBDCs and to develop “a strategic plan […] which assesses the necessary steps and requirements for potential implementation and launch of a CBDC in the United States [emphasis added].” Then, in consultation with the Attorney General and Secretary of the Treasury, Powell is asked to offer within 180 days “an assessment of the need for legislative changes to issue a CBDC in the United States.” If that doesn’t make it clear that this administration wants to act on implementing a US CBDC — and soon — then nothing will. As my friend Troy Paredes, a former SEC commissioner, observed at Inveniam’s excellent “Data 3.0 For Web 3.0” conference in Miami this month, the executive order not only recognizes the risks of digital assets , but also the benefits of blockchain technology.

The executive order directs certain cabinet members and agencies to study and report on relevant matters within their jurisdiction. The Attorney General must account for the role of law enforcement in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting criminal activity related to digital assets. The Federal Trade Commission must examine the effects that the growth of digital assets could have on competition policy, privacy interests and consumer protection measures. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission – in consultation with the Chairman of the Fed, the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – are encouraged to review the extent to which investor and market protection measures in their respective jurisdictions can be used to respond to the risks of digital assets and “if additional measures may be necessary”. You can be sure that the current chairman of the SEC Gary Gensler will have much to say and recommend in this regard.

The Financial Stability Supervisory Board – which is made up of various agencies, including the SEC, CFTC, CFPB and federal banking agencies – must produce a report within 210 days “describing specific risks to financial stability and regulatory gaps posed by various types of digital assets”. and provide recommendations to address these risks. Here too, expect the SEC to be at the center of the new proposals.

The last element of the executive order to mention is what the Biden administration considers to be the fundamental principles and policies that should guide the government’s future actions. These include:

Strong measures to reduce the risks that digital assets could pose to consumers, investors and business protection; financial stability and integrity of the financial system; fight and prevent crime and illicit financing; national security; the ability to exercise human rights; financial inclusion and equity; and climate change and pollution.

It hits me like a sound. The Executive Order identifies a very thoughtful, systematic, and comprehensive set of factors to inform policies that a government would or should be concerned about, and would like or like, the use of blockchain technology, digital assets, and currencies. I wouldn’t be surprised if a major and comprehensive bill regarding blockchain, its regulation, and a US CBDC were proposed by the administration within the next 12-18 months. Even more comprehensive than SOX of 2002 (concerning mainly public companies) and the Dodd-Frank legislation of 2010 (aimed at cracking down on the excessive risk-taking that led to the financial crisis) insofar as it will affect the American economy and our daily life. I have less confidence that such a radical law will actually be passed. It seems more likely that parts of our government will propose and adopt new rules and regulations addressing findings and issues in the various reports they are responsible for producing for the President.


Mark Powers is currently an adjunct professor at Florida International University College of Law, where he teaches Blockchain & the Law and Fintech Law. He recently retired from practicing at a law firm Am Law 100, where he built both his national securities litigation and enforcement team and his securities industry practice. hedge funds. Marc began his legal career in the Enforcement Division of the SEC. In his 40 years of practicing law, he has been involved in representations such as the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, a recent presidential pardon, and the insider trading trial of Martha Stewart.


The opinions expressed are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph or the Florida International University College of Law or its affiliates. This article is for general informational purposes and is not intended to be and should not be considered legal or investment advice.


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Newsrust - US Top News: Powers On... Biden Accepts Blockchain Technology, Recognizes Its Benefits, And Pushes For Its Adoption – Cointelegraph Magazine
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