Biden government prepares rules for digital assets and cryptocurrencies

U.S. government agencies should double down on digital assets and identify gaps in cryptocurrency regulation, the Biden administration said on Friday, citing potential for misuse, even as it notes its growing role in global finance.

The Treasury Department will lead a group of government agencies that will consider a central bank digital currency, but the White House has not endorsed a digital dollar.

The government’s class action, announced in a series of reports, follows an order President Joe Biden signed this year “to ensure the responsible development of digital assets.”

The reports urge regulators such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to issue guidance and rules on the risks of the digital asset ecosystem, including the potential for cryptocurrencies to be used in money laundering or fraud.

According to the White House, Biden may ask Congress to amend the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) to apply to digital asset service providers, including cryptocurrency exchanges and platforms for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The BSA requires banks to report suspicious transactions to the Treasury.

Biden will also consider agency recommendations to create a federal framework that oversees non-bank payment providers.

The Justice Department said it is creating a digital asset coordinator overseeing 150 federal prosecutors to investigate and prosecute digital asset crimes.

Cryptocurrencies topped $3 trillion in market cap last year, but the sector has floundered in recent months as investors abandoned risky assets due to rising interest rates.

US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo noted the risks, adding that well-regulated digital assets can make international payment systems more competitive and help underserved populations.

*Reproduction of this content is prohibited.

Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News

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