Crypto Rules Should Match Traditional Financial System, US Treasury Secretary to Say Thursday
According to excerpts from her first speech devoted just to digital assets, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wants to bring the crypto business up to par with the traditional US financial system and subject it to the same standards.
Yellen will argue that finance, including the latest crypto technologies, should be subject to consistent, “tech neutral” standards that protect individuals “against fraud and false statements regardless of whether assets are held on a balance sheet or distributed ledger.”
“Digital assets may be new, but many of the challenges they raise are not,” Yellen will say in remarks planned to be delivered at American University on Thursday. “Financial regulations must adapt when new technology permits new activities, goods, and services.”
The United States’ administration has been paying more attention to cryptocurrency, with President Joe Biden directing the federal government’s activities in a broad executive order published last month. According to Treasury officials previewing the speech, the order forms the backbone of Yellen’s speech, which is intended as a high-level summary of the Treasury’s views and next moves without delving into the weeds of referencing individual products or firms.
Yellen will argue that “regulators have authorities they can use to promote these objectives, and Treasury supports those efforts,” despite the fact that lawmakers have begun to introduce legislation to foster cryptocurrency innovations while keeping the public and financial system safe from threats.
The crypto sector is already chafing at SEC plans that crypto advocates and attorneys in Washington, D.C. believe will bring digital assets under the agency’s control. Meanwhile, prominent Republicans including Sen. Pat Toomey have proposed legislation that would limit the agency’s authority, though it’s unclear whether the divided Congress can find enough common ground or support to submit any crypto laws to the president for signature this year.