The Biden administration is expected to release an executive order on cryptocurrencies this week. The order will task federal agencies with reviewing the US digital asset market and evaluate the development of a digital dollar. The order comes as regulatory scrutiny in the crypto sector grows amidst Russian sanctions.
The cryptocurrency market has been anxious during the past few weeks due to the speculation of a shifting regulatory framework for digital assets in the US. The White House has confirmed that an executive order on cryptocurrencies will be released this week.
The executive order will allow several agencies to gain broader oversight over the cryptocurrency sector. It will also address the development of a US central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Biden to Release an Executive Order on Crypto
Some of the agencies tasked to review the cryptocurrency sector include the Justice Department and the Treasury. The speculation of such an executive order has been looming since last year, with the White House pointing to risks in the crypto sector that needed to be addressed.
A source familiar with the matter noted, “We could see a significant policy in 180 days. This is a likely step towards the creation of a central bank digital currency.” The US has been lagging behind other developed economies in matters of CBDC development. The chair of the US Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, had said the US would take its time assessing the feasibility of a digital dollar.
The order will examine whether a new law is needed to develop a digital dollar. It will also task agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Commission and the Federal Trade Commission to assess the impact of a digital dollar on the consumer.
Crypto Markets are Under Pressure
Scrutiny over the cryptocurrency sector has increased amid the Russian sanctions. Cryptocurrency exchanges have been under pressure to ensure that Russia does not use their platforms to avoid sanctions.
The Russian ruble has dropped to all-time lows against the US dollar. Russia’s cryptocurrency activities have been notably high as people turn towards crypto to save their wealth. Cryptocurrency exchanges have argued that they will not ban ordinary Russian users but only the sanctioned individuals.
On Monday, Coinbase, a leading US-based cryptocurrency exchange, announced it had blocked 25,000 wallet addresses of Russian users linked to illegal activities. The exchange further said it had forwarded the names of the blocked users to the US government. In South Korea, leading exchanges including Upbit and Gopax have also blocked Russian addresses.
Last week, it was also reported that Binance users in Russia could not use the cards of sanctioned banks to deposit money to the exchange.