Last week, the Department of Treasury invited public input pursuant to Executive Order 14067 of March 9, 2022, “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets.” In particular, the Department invites input, data, and recommendations pertaining to the implications of development and adoption of digital assets and changes in financial market and payment infrastructures for United States consumers, investors, businesses, and for equitable economic growth.

The Executive Order outlines principal U.S. policy objectives with respect to digital assets. These principal policy objectives are:

  1. Protection of consumers, investors, and businesses in the United States
  2. Protection of United States and global financial stability and the mitigation of systemic risk
  3. Mitigation of illicit finance and national security risks posed by misuse of digital assets
  4. Reinforcement of U.S. leadership in the global financial system and in technological and economic competitiveness, including through the responsible development of payment innovations and digital assets
  5. Promotion of access to safe and affordable financial services
  6. Support of technological advances that promote responsible development and use of digital assets

Comments are requested on:

  • Adoption to Date and Mass Adoption;
  • Opportunities for Consumers, Investors, and Businesses;
  • General Risks in Digital Assets Financial Markets;
  • Risks to Consumers, Investors, and Businesses; and
  • Impact on the Most Vulnerable

Comments must be received on or before August 8, 2022.

The complexity of the request for comment flows from the breadth of the Order.  According to its press release, the Order:

  • Outlines “the first ever, whole-of-government approach to addressing the risks and harnessing the potential benefits of digital assets and their underlying technology.”
  • Seeks a national policy for digital assets across six “key priorities”: consumer and investor protection; financial stability; illicit finance; U.S. leadership in the global financial system and economic competitiveness; financial inclusion; and responsible innovation.”
  • Makes no substantive conclusions.

The request for comment seeks input to help Treasury deliver a report required by the Order.  Specifically, Treasury, in consultation with other agencies such as the FTC, the SEC, the CFTC, Federal banking regulators, and the CFPB, must:

  • Report to the President on the development and adoption of digital assets and the associated implications for consumers, investors, and businesses;
  • Address the conditions that might drive “mass adoption” of digital assets and its risks.

The report is to be delivered in early September 2022, which may explain the short comment period.