Last week the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) issued a fact sheet summarizing key provisions of a report recently published by Treasury in accordance with President Joe Biden's Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets (EO). According to the fact sheet, the report, "Crypto-Assets: Implications for Consumers, Investors, and Businesses," offers a set of recommendations for agencies to address risks associated with the crypto-asset sector, using their existing authorities. Those recommendations include (1) monitoring for illicit activity and pursuing investigations and civil and criminal actions to enforce applicable laws, focusing on consumer, investor and market protection; (2) issuing supervisory rules and guidance to address risks in crypto-asset products and services, and collaborating with other agencies to promote consistent and comprehensive oversight; and (3) working to ensure that consumers, investors and businesses have access to trustworthy information on crypto-assets. The BakerHostetler Blockchain Technologies and Digital Assets team will publish an alert in the coming weeks further analyzing the Treasury report.

In related news, Nellie Yiang, the U.S. undersecretary for domestic finance, recently gave a speech addressing the reports issued by Treasury in response to the EO. Her remarks focused on the ways digital assets could affect the future of money and payment systems in the United States, and on related recommendations set forth in the reports. The undersecretary highlighted multiple findings from the Treasury reports, including findings related to operational failures, market manipulation, fraud, theft and scams in the use of crypto-assets; recommendations concerning the use of digital assets and other technologies for money and payments; a recommendation for the United States to advance work on a potential central bank digital currency if determined to be in the national interest; recommendations on the promotion, development and use of instant payment systems; a recommendation to consider establishing a federal regulatory framework for nonbank providers; and finally, a recommendation concerning a more efficient and more transparent international payments system.

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