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Janet Yellen Inadvertently Reveals Content of Biden's Crypto Order

Yellen says Biden's order 'calls for a coordinated and comprehensive approach to digital asset policy.'
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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday praised President Joe Biden's "historic" executive order on cryptocurrency.

Among other things, Biden's order directs Treasury and other departments to come up with policy recommendations "to address the implications of the growing digital asset sector and changes in financial markets for consumers, investors, businesses, and equitable economic growth."

'Responsible Innovation'

"President Biden’s historic executive order calls for a coordinated and comprehensive approach to digital asset policy," Yellen said in a statement. "This approach will support responsible innovation that could result in substantial benefits for the nation, consumers, and businesses."

Yellen said the order will also "address risks related to illicit finance, protecting consumers and investors, and preventing threats to the financial system and broader economy."

Yellen's comments statement was dated Wednesday, but posted Tuesday evening before being taken down.

A department spokesperson said the statement was posted early due to a web error and reposted Wednesday morning. Bitcoin prices climbed after the statement was published.

Bitcoin was up 7.3% to $41,759 at last check, ethereum climbed nearly 5% to $2,721 and dogecoin rose 2% to $0.121385, according to CoinGecko.

Yellen said the Financial Stability Oversight Council will be convened to evaluate the potential financial stability risks of digital assets and determine whether appropriate safeguards are in place.

"And, because the questions raised by digital assets often have important cross-border dimensions," she said, "we’ll work with our international partners to promote robust standards and a level playing field."

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Yellen said the Treasury Department and other agencies will build up the National Risk Assessments on money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing which were published last week.

"As we take on this important work, we’ll be guided by consumer and investor protection groups, market participants, and other leading experts," she said.

'Constructive Approach'

Biden's order also calls for research and development of a potential U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency, should it be deemed in the national interest.

Gary Gensler, chairman of the Security and Exchange Commission praised Biden's order.

"I look forward to collaborating with colleagues across the government to achieve important public policy goals: protecting investors & consumers, guarding against illicit activity, & helping ensure financial stability," Gensler said in a tweet.

The responses to Gensler's remarks were rather hostile.

"With any luck, you’ll be completely boxed out of meaningful input as your personal goals have nothing to do with investor protection, market stability or blocking illicit activity," one person said.

Cameron Winklevoss, co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange Gemini voiced his support for the executive order.

"I applaud this constructive approach to thoughtful crypto regulation and look forward to working together with the various stakeholders to ensure that the US remains a leader in crypto," he tweeted.