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Bloomberg Sources Indicate White House Moving on Cryptocurrency Policies in February

Bloomberg cited unnamed sources who indicated that the White House will issue an executive order detailing a government-wide strategy regarding policy on cryptocurrencies and digital financial assets as early as February. Part of this strategy is reported to be a delegation to federal agencies for identifying risks and opportunities related to digital assets. The executive order is reportedly concerned with economic, regularity, and national security challenges that involve cryptocurrencies and would require agencies to submit appropriate reports in Q3 or Q4 of 2022. Part of the executive order would concern evaluating the possibility of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) issued by the United States. Bloomberg sources indicated that no final decision will be made ahead of the Federal Reserve’s study, which has opened a public comment period until May 20.

Analyst Notes

Since 2009, cryptocurrency markets have grown in parallel to cybercrime activities, and criminal activities have played a significant role in cryptocurrency pricing and transactions. As the Department of Justice (DOJ) has observed, cyber criminals employ the anonymity, fungibility, and online accessibility of cryptocurrency assets in order to perpetrate criminal financial transactions, launder proceeds from both legitimate and illegitimate financial activities, and engage in “crimes, such as theft, directly implicating the cryptocurrency marketplace itself.” A central policy enacted by the USA, which could include the introduction of a CBDC or the legal requirement that mandates banks work only with a CBDC, would have a large effect on cryptocurrency markets and simultaneously could make it more difficult for cybercriminals.