The White House Just Released a Framework for Regulating Digital Assets

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The Alpha:

  • Early in September 2022, the White House published a report calling for more sustainable practices across the blockchain industry.
  • Now, the White House has offered solutions in the form of a comprehensive framework centered around the “responsible development of digital assets.” This framework outlines the actionable next steps that will be taken, which include things like:
    • Regulators scaling up investigations into digital asset market misconduct, redoubling their enforcement efforts when it comes to existing rules and regulations, and strengthening interagency coordination.
    • The Financial Literacy Education Commission leading public-awareness efforts to help consumers understand the risks involved with digital assets.
    • The Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies tracking “digital assets’ environmental impacts; developing performance standards as appropriate; and providing local authorities with the tools, resources, and expertise to mitigate environmental harms.”

Why it matters

When the White House issued a March executive order calling for all crypto-dependent industries to move towards a more sustainable existence, many individuals in the space were worried about all-out bans. However, with the publication of today’s framework, it’s clear that the administration is more interested in sustainable growth than banning specific tools or technologies.

What’s next

Aside from the actionable next steps already mentioned, various government agencies are tasked with conducting further research into minimizing the ecological, economic, and cybersecurity risks associated with blockchain technology and related digital asset industries.

Specifically, the Office of Science and Technology Policy and National Science Foundation will develop a “Digital Assets Research and Development Agenda” to kickstart research into topics spanning next-generation cryptography, transaction programmability, cybersecurity, privacy protections, and how to mitigate the environmental impact of digital assets.

Aside from that, part of the framework calls upon all government arms to work together to ensure the digital asset industry grows the right — i.e., sustainable — way.

Further reading:

White House to NFT Space: Make Minting Greener
Art or Investment? The US Government’s New Policy on NFTs



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