WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order on cryptocurrency this week, which will be the first step in regulating digital currency trading.
The move comes as government officials have raised concerns over the past few weeks about Russia’s use of cryptocurrency to avoid the impact of crushing sanctions in response to its invasion of Ukraine. The sanctions have sent the ruble to historic lows and shut down the country’s stock market.
Two people familiar with the process said the cryptocurrency executive order is expected to be enacted this week and was in the works well before the war. Both people spoke on condition of anonymity to preview the order.
The order is expected to outline what government agencies, including the Treasury Department, must do to develop digital currency policies and regulations. The State Department is expected to be asked to ensure that America’s cryptocurrency laws are brought into line with those of US allies, and the Financial Stability Oversight Council – which oversees the stability of the US financial system – to address concerns about illegal cryptocurrency investigate finances.
In addition, the order will consider the possibility of a new one Central bank digital currency. Issued by the Federal Reserve a piece of paper on the topic in January, which examines the risks and benefits of the US-backed digital currency.
Implicit in the order will be that cryptocurrency will remain a part of the US economy for years to come. The White House’s plans to move forward with the executive order were first reported by Bloomberg News.
While US officials have downplayed the cryptocurrency’s importance to Russia’s ability to evade sanctions, it remains an issue.
“We will continue to look at how the sanctions are working and assess whether there are any liquid leaks and we have the opportunity to address them. I often hear cryptocurrency being mentioned and that’s a channel to keep an eye on,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said last week.
A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the president’s national security team had already been on the lookout for the use and creation of front companies and alternative financial institutions that Moscow could potentially use to evade sanctions.
Crypto is one of several areas the Biden administration is trying to shore up to ensure sanctions against Russia have maximum impact. The official said previous experiences in Iran and Venezuela of circumventing sanctions would feed into the government’s efforts. Additional export controls and new sanctions targets are expected to be unveiled in the coming days and weeks to counter Russian efforts to evade sanctions, the official said.
On Monday, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued a warning recommending financial institutions to be “vigilant” against any attempts to circumvent sanctions related to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“While we have not seen widespread circumvention of our sanctions using methods such as cryptocurrency, prompt reporting of suspicious activity contributes to our national security and our efforts to support Ukraine and its people,” Acting Director Him Das said in a statement.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/08/biden-to-issue-executive-order-on-cryptocurrency/ Biden Issues Executive Order Over Cryptocurrency