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American News Mar 8, 2022 10:45 PM EST

Biden expected to issue executive order on cryptocurrency this week

President Joe Biden is expected to issue an executive order regarding cryptocurrency this week, marking the first official steps taken by the federal government towards regulating how digital currency is traded.

Biden expected to issue executive order on cryptocurrency this week
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

President Joe Biden is expected to issue an executive order regarding cryptocurrency this week, marking the first official steps taken by the federal government towards regulating how digital currency is traded.

According to sources that spoke with the New York Post on conditions of anonymity, the executive order is expected to describe what step federal agencies like the Treasury Department need to take to develop policies and regulations on digital currencies.

It is also expected to include a request for the State Department to ensure that these regulations are in line with those made by US allies.

The order will also ask the Financial Stability Oversight Council, which monitors the the stability of the US financial system, to study illicit finance concerns.

This move comes as Biden administration officials have raised concerns with the currency in regards to Russia's use of cryptocurrency to circumnavigate the countless sanctions placed on the nation following its invasion of Ukraine.

The sources told the New York Post though that this executive order has been in the works well before the conflict broke out in Eastern Europe.

The executive order will also reportedly explore the possibility of a central bank digital currency. In January, the Federal Reserve released a paper exploring the risks and benefits of such currency.

While officials in the US have downplayed the importance of cryptocurrency in Russia's ability to evade the sanctions, it remains a concern.

"We will continue to look at how the sanctions work and evaluate whether or not there are liquid leakages and we have the possibility to address them. I often hear cryptocurrency mentioned and that is a channel to be watched," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said last week.

"A senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the president’s national security team has already been on the lookout for the use and creation of front companies and alternative financial institutions that Moscow might try to employ to get around sanctions," the New York Post reported.

On Monday, the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued an alert advising financial institutions to be "vigilant" against efforts to evade sanctions in connection with Russia's war in Ukraine.

"Although we have not seen widespread evasion of our sanctions using methods such as cryptocurrency, prompt reporting of suspicious activity contributes to our national security and our efforts to support Ukraine and its people," acting Director Him Das said in a statement.

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