The United States is committed to the responsible development and design of digital assets and the technology that underpins new forms of payments and capital flows in the international financial system. Today’s Executive Order (E.O.) on “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets” demonstrates our determination to lead and shape financial innovation to promote prosperity, prevent abuse, and advance democratic values.
Financial innovation can produce great benefit for society, but it needs the right guardrails to prevent harm. During the Russian government’s premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified war on Ukraine, we have seen it employed for ill and for good. For instance, there have been numerous ransomware incidents using cryptocurrencies that have originated in Russia, as have other malicious cyber activities. On the other hand, people from around the world have responded to Ukraine’s request for assistance by making direct donations through cryptocurrencies. Today’s E.O. is designed to block the former and promote the latter.
The Department of State will play an important role in the implementation of this E.O. Our embassies and missions around the world are ready to partner with the private sector and international bodies to support the development and use of digital asset technology in ways aligned with U.S. values. This will include fostering international cooperation and U.S. competitiveness; reducing the risks that digital assets could pose to consumers, investors, businesses, and the environment; supporting the development and adoption of standards; protecting the integrity and stability of the financial system; preserving interoperability; combating corruption; preventing crime and illicit finance; protecting against arbitrary or unlawful surveillance; defending privacy and the exercise of human rights; and supporting financial inclusion.