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Latest Developments in Digital Assets: What is the Impact of the March 2022 Executive Order and the Collapse of TerraUSD?

President Biden’s March 2022 Executive Order (EO) identifies policy objectives and directs multiple agencies to propose regulation following months of Congressional inaction in response to the November 2021 call to action by a Presidential Working Group. The recent collapse of the algorithmic stablecoin, Terra USD, has heightened regulatory interest. After describing cryptocurrency and stablecoins, the panel will report recent regulatory activity in the cryptocurrency industry and discuss ongoing Congressional and regulatory initiatives. Regulatory actions by the CFTC, SEC, FinCEN and state attorneys general and regulatory authorities will all be considered.

Due to the global and cross-industry reach of cryptocurrency, the Biden administration issued an EO that makes no specific proposals for regulation but does articulate the policy views of the administration. The EO’s stated regulatory goals are:

  1. Evaluate U.S.-issued central bank digital currency (CBDC)
  2. Protect U.S. consumers, investors, and businesses
  3. Protect U.S. and global financial stability and mitigate systemic risk
  4. Mitigate illicit finance and national security risks posed by illicit use of digital assets
  5. Promote U.S. leadership in technology and reinforce U.S. leadership in the global financial system
  6. Promote equitable access to safe and affordable financial services to achieve financial inclusion
  7. Support technological advances and ensure responsible development and use of digital assets

The collapse in value of the algorithmic stablecoin, TerraUSD, from $18 billion to well less than $1 billion has heightened regulatory interest. Following the fall of TerraUSD, stablecoins are valued in excess of $150 billion, underscoring why the Treasury Department and others have identified them as systemically important.

Outline:

1.  Digital assets

a) History

b) Stablecoins

2. Latest Regulatory Developments

a) EO

b) Report on CBDC

c) Report of President’s Working Group

3. Recent Congressional and Regulatory Activity

a) Treasury Department

b) SEC

c) CFTC

       1. FinCEN

       2. State Attorneys General and Agencies

4. Ongoing Congressional and Regulatory Activity

a) Congressional Bills

b) Regulatory Actions in Process

Benefits:

The panel will:

  • provide fundamentals for understanding of blockchain, cryptocurrency, and stablecoins
  • survey recent developments in multiple bodies of law
  • address latest regulatory developments