Bitcoin Rises After Biden Signs Crypto Executive Order

The United States is to tackle the vexing issue of cryptocurrencies, after President Joe Biden signed on Wednesday an executive order on digital assets.

The executive order will examine the risks and benefits of digital assets, and its possible future within the US financial system.

The order focuses on six key areas: consumer protection, financial stability, illicit activity, US competitiveness, financial inclusion and responsible innovation.

Executive order

The Biden administration also made clear wants to explore a digital version of the dollar, after allied nations also examine the possibility.

The signing of the executive order by President Biden on Wednesday essentially calls on the US government to examine the risks and benefits of cryptocurrencies.

The US order has been long-awaited, and it has triggered a market reaction with the value of digital currencies surging, after the executive order allayed concern that the US would suddenly tighten up its rules around digital assets.

The executive order calls on federal agencies to take a unified approach to regulation and oversight of digital assets.

The measures announced in a White House fact sheet, will therefore focus on six key areas:

  • Consumer and investor protection
  • Financial stability
  • Illicit activity
  • US competitiveness on a global stage
  • Financial inclusion
  • Responsible innovation

“The Administration will continue work across agencies and with Congress to establish policies that guard against risks and guide responsible innovation, with our allies and partners to develop aligned international capabilities that respond to national security risks, and with the private sector to study and support technological advances in digital assets,” said the White House.

Crypto crime

One of the key aspects of Biden’s executive order focuses on is rooting out illegal activity in the crypto space.

Last month US officials seized $3.6 billion worth of bitcoin, when a hack of a virtual currency exchange in 2016 resulted in the arrest of a married couple in New York nearly six years later.

This was the largest seizure of cryptocurrencies ever, and the two individuals (Ilya Lichtenstein, aged 34, and his wife, Heather Morgan, aged 31) were arrested in Manhattan for an alleged conspiracy to launder $4.5 billion in stolen cryptocurrency.

It comes after the crypto exchange platform Bitfinex in Hong Kong, which was the world’s largest dollar-based exchange for bitcoin, was hacked in August 2016, and 119,756 bitcoin was stolen from users’ accounts.

The FBI and others kept an eye on the stolen bitcoin and moved to arrest the couple when activity in the digital wallets was detected.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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