In a surprise move, the office of United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen prematurely published a statement responding to President Joe Biden’s executive order on cryptocurrencies, which has yet to be released.
The statement was immediately removed from the website, but a copy remains archived and provides a picture of what the Biden administration hopes to achieve with its executive order, which has been in the works for the past couple of months.
Biden will sign a much-anticipated executive order on digital currencies on Wednesday, including its plan to research the benefits and risks of the U.S. launching its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) to compete with China’s “digital yuan,” which is being trialed across the country.
The price of Bitcoin jumped by 8% after Yellen’s statement was published, as cryptocurrency traders were jolted with optimism that the Federal government was not planning to restrict virtual currencies.
Yellen’s statement was largely seen as supportive of crypto, and highlighted that the office was in the process of pursuing “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,” she said. “It will also address risks related to illicit finance, protecting consumers and investors, and preventing threats to the financial system and broader economy.”
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Yellen said that the Treasury would work with other governmental agencies to create a “report on the future of money and payment systems.”
In addition, the Treasury would also evaluate the risks to financial stability posed by cryptocurrencies — as well as examine safeguards — under a Financial Stability Oversight Council.
“Because the questions raised by digital assets often have important cross-border dimensions, we’ll work with our international partners to promote robust standards and a level playing field,” Yellen added.
Yellen highlighted that the Treasury has already weighed in on and proposed recommendations around stablecoins, and plans to expand upon the national risk assessments covering illicit financial risks linked to cryptocurrencies.
“[The] 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," Yellen said.