Bitcoin and Biden: Three takeaways on historic executive order

Rick Steves

deVere’s Nigel Green says Bitcoin remains the way forward as a digital dollar would give U.S. authorities even greater oversight of citizens’ transactions.

Fed’s Brainard cautious over boom of blockchain technology

U.S. President Joe Biden has signed a long-awaited executive order on cryptocurrencies and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said it could “result in substantial benefits for the nation, consumers, and businesses.”

Nigel Green, chief executive officer at asset management firm deVere Group, commented on the matter, pointing to three key takeaways from Biden’s crypto executive order: crypto is inevitable, the United States will not ban crypto, and a digital dollar would underscore why the world will still want cryptocurrencies.

“History will judge Biden signing this executive order to instruct departments across Washington to study digital currencies as a landmark moment”, he said.

The three takeaways

“First, digital currencies are an inevitability in the ever more digital world that we live in. When tech is driving the way we live, work, do business and much more besides, it makes sense to have money that runs on tech too. Also, it must be remembered that millennials – who are set to be the beneficiaries of the largest ever generational transfer of wealth [according to some estimates US$60 trillion] – have been raised on technology, they’re digital natives. As such, the future of money is also, without doubt, going to be digital. For this reason, around 90% of governments around the world, representing 90% of global GDP, are actively pursuing their own central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). China might have been the first large, industrialized nation to launch a CBDC with the digital yuan, but it will not be the last. Far from it. Indeed, the U.S. now appears to be playing ‘catch up’.

“Second, the U.S. government will not be moving to ban cryptocurrencies in the world’s largest economy. In fact, the executive order is calling for a ‘coordinated and comprehensive approach to digital asset policy,’ and in leaked documents it seems to already being championed by Janet Yellen, the U.S. Treasury Secretary.

“And third, a digital dollar would underscore why the world will still want cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. The Federal Reserve’s potential new currency would have many advantages, including convenience and speed of payments, but what it would not have is privacy. Indeed, a digital dollar would serve to give U.S. authorities even greater oversight of citizens’ transactions. The government would be able to trace all transactions. Washington would have even more powers to track and control.

Nigel Green added that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies run on an open, immutable blockchain, or distributed ledger, which gives them the upper hand.

“Not only are they a store of value and medium of exchange but they have other inherent core values, namely being a viable decentralized, tamper-proof, unconfiscatable monetary system. And this has intrinsic value for investors around the world.”

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen welcomed the “historic executive order” which calls for a coordinated and comprehensive approach to digital asset policy, not only to support innovation but also to address risks related to illicit finance and preventing threats to the financial system and broader economy.

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