« We must support technological advances that promote responsible development and use of digital assets, » the president says.
By the authority vested in me as president by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. Advances in digital and distributed ledger technology for financial services have led to dramatic growth in markets for digital assets, with profound implications for the protection of consumers, investors and businesses, including data privacy and security; financial stability and systemic risk; crime; national security; the ability to exercise human rights; financial inclusion and equity; and energy demand and climate change. In November 2021, non‑state issued digital assets reached a combined market capitalization of $3 trillion, up from approximately $14 billion in early November 2016. Monetary authorities globally are also exploring, and in some cases introducing, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). While many activities involving digital assets are within the scope of existing domestic laws and regulations, an area where the United States has been a global leader, growing development and adoption of digital assets and related innovations, as well as inconsistent controls to defend against certain key risks, necessitate an evolution and alignment of the United States government approach to digital assets. The United States has an interest in responsible financial innovation, expanding access to safe and affordable financial services and reducing the cost of domestic and cross-border funds transfers and payments, including through the continued modernization of public payment systems. We must take strong steps to reduce the risks that digital assets could pose to consumers, investors and business protections; financial stability and financial system integrity; combating and preventing crime and illicit finance; national security; the ability to exercise human rights; financial inclusion and equity; and climate change and pollution.
(a) We must protect consumers, investors and businesses in the United States. The unique and varied features of digital assets can pose significant financial risks to consumers, investors and businesses if appropriate protections are not in place. In the absence of sufficient oversight and standards, firms providing digital asset services may provide inadequate protections for sensitive financial data, custodial and other arrangements relating to customer assets and funds, or disclosures of risks associated with investment. Cybersecurity and market failures at major digital asset exchanges and trading platforms have resulted in billions of dollars in losses. The United States should ensure that safeguards are in place and promote the responsible development of digital assets to protect consumers, investors and businesses; maintain privacy; and shield against arbitrary or unlawful surveillance, which can contribute to human rights abuses.