Biden’s Executive Order: Cause for Celebration or Caution?

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Biden’s Executive Order: Cause for Celebration or Caution?

Mar 13, 2022 - 5 min read
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On March 9th, metaverse enthusiasts, skeptics, and everyone else received news of Biden’s Executive Order on cryptocurrency, and scrambled to make sense of it.

“With respect to digital assets, my Administration will seek to ensure that our core democratic values are respected; consumers, investors, and businesses are protected; appropriate global financial system connectivity and platform and architecture interoperability are preserved; and the safety and soundness of the global financial system and international monetary system are maintained,” reads the Executive Order.

According to Coindesk, Biden’s executive order on crypto does this: “Directs federal agencies to better communicate their work in the digital asset sector.” These agencies would determine and respond to what the administration deems as risks posed by crypto to the national security of the United States.

The E.O. does NOT do this: “Lay out specific positions the administration wants agencies to adopt,” however Coindesk’s Nikhilesh De “believes the order could lead to more regulation in the future.”

Politician Andrew Yang’s Advice

Democratic Party candidate for president in 2020, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang has now jumped into the metaverse with a DAO called “Lobby3”, an organization rallying to unify the DeFi community and push for favorable regulation in Washington.

“Lobby3 is an initiative to take the voices of Web3 to Washington DC, where we can hopefully expand people’s understanding of what these tools can do to improve the public interest [and] improve people’s lives”, said Yang in an exclusive interview with the Defiant’s Robin Schimdt.

Yang believes that the window of opportunity in which “work that can be done to push things in a positive direction” regarding digital asset policies will close in the next 12 to 24 months, taking in account lawmakers on average being uninformed about the metaverse, but also feeling pressured to decisive action given current events.

Similarly, The Verge believes that the “[Executive Order] emphasizes that the US wants to remain competitive, fostering information while minimizing harm.” This sentiment is further echoed by Dante Disparte, chief strategy officer Circle, the company that created USDC (the dollar-pegged stablecoin), when he wrote, “The acknowledgement from the White House and the Biden Administration that this sector warrants a whole-of-government approach to at once harness opportunities while controlling and managing inherent risks in responsible innovation is encouraging” in a blog post.

Like many others, Circle’s Disparte and Politician Yang’s sentiment for the metaverse remain optimistic, as long as cryptocurrency is regulated by its own agencies. But though experts and enthusiasts are excited of cryptocurrency skeptics being convinced by US government involvement, thus increasing members in the space and potential for higher trades and surges in demand, some are more cautious than celebratory of what these new coming policies might foreshadow.

Words of Caution

Although Bitcoin supporter Senator Cynthia Lummis tweeted her agreement with the E.O.'s intention of combating risks to national security, she wonders about the executive order missing “the fact that the overwhelming majority of digital asset users are law-abiding and trying to make our financial system better.”

Minnesota’s Congressman Tom Emmer expressed similar thoughts, writing that “The [E.O.] doesn’t mention decentralization once” in a Twitter thread. “Given this Admin’s regulatory posture toward the crypto community, we have no reason to assume that the directives in the [E.O.] will yield results that appropriately acknowledge the importance of leading w. digital asset policies that prioritize open, permissionless, & private tech.”

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