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July 8 -- Pursuant to Executive Order 14067 of March 9, 2022, “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets,” the Treasury Department invites input, data, and recommendations pertaining to the implications of development and adoption of digital assets and changes in financial market and payment infrastructures for United States consumers, investors, businesses, and for equitable economic growth. Comments must be received on or before August 8, 2022.

Executive Order 14067 of March 9, 2022, “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets” (hereafter “Executive Order”) (87 FR 14143; March 14, 2022), outlines principal U.S. policy objectives with respect to digital assets. These principal policy objectives are:

a. Protection of consumers, investors, and businesses in the United States
b. Protection of United States and global financial stability and the mitigation of systemic risk
c. Mitigation of illicit finance and national security risks posed by misuse of digital assets
d. Reinforcement of U.S. leadership in the global financial system and in technological and economic competitiveness, including through the responsible development of payment innovations and digital assets
e. Promotion of access to safe and affordable financial services
f. Support of technological advances that promote responsible development and use of digital assets

Section 5(a) provides that the increased use of digital assets and digital asset exchanges and trading platforms may increase the risks of crimes such as fraud and theft, other statutory and regulatory violations, privacy and data breaches, unfair and abusive acts and practices, and other cyber incidents faced by consumers, investors, and businesses. The rise in use of digital assets, and differences across communities, may also present disparate financial risk to less informed market participants or exacerbate inequities. It is critical to ensure that digital assets do not pose undue risks to consumers, investors, or businesses, and to put in place protections as a part of efforts to expand access to safe and affordable financial services experienced by more vulnerable populations.

Section 5(b)(i) directs the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor and the heads of other relevant agencies, including, as appropriate, the heads of independent regulatory agencies, such as the FTC, the SEC, the CFTC, Federal banking regulators, and the CFPB, to report to the President on the implications of development and adoption of digital assets and changes in financial market and payment infrastructures for United States consumers, investors, businesses, and for equitable economic growth. The report must address the conditions that would drive mass adoption of different types of digital assets and the risks and opportunities such growth might present to United States consumers, investors, and businesses, including a focus on how technological innovation may impact these efforts and with an eye toward those most vulnerable to disparate impacts.

Through this request for comment (RFC), Treasury is requesting input from the public that will inform its work in carrying out its mandate under section 5(b)(i) of the Executive Order. This RFC offers an opportunity for all interested parties to provide relevant input, data, and recommendations pertaining to the implications of development and adoption of digital assets and changes in financial market and payment infrastructures for United States consumers, investors, businesses, and for equitable economic growth.

Question categories:
(A) Adoption to Date and Mass Adoption
(B) Opportunities for Consumers, Investors, and Businesses
(C) General Risks in Digital Assets Financial Markets
(D) Risks to Consumers, Investors, and Businesses
(E) Impact on the Most Vulnerable

The term “digital assets” refers to all CBDCs [Central Bank Digital Currencies], regardless of the technology used, and to other representations of value, financial assets and instruments, or claims that are used to make payments or investments, or to transmit or exchange funds or the equivalent thereof, that are issued or represented in digital form through the use of distributed ledger technology. For example, digital assets include cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and CBDCs. Regardless of the label used, a digital asset may be, among other things, a security, a commodity, a derivative, or other financial product. Digital assets may be exchanged across digital asset trading platforms, including centralized and decentralized finance platforms, or through peer-to-peer technologies.

Executive Order 14067: https://www.federalregister.gov/executive-order/14067
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-14588
Press release: https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0861

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