According to those familiar with the situation, a disagreement between White House officials and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen over the scope of a future executive order that could include a digital currency has caused President Joe Biden’s cryptocurrency policy to be postponed.
The order, which was supposed to outline a government-wide policy for digital assets, was supposed to be signed at the start of the year. Still, according to the sources, a fight between Yellen’s staff and National Economic Council officials stalled its completion, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Senior administration officials have now created a draft version for Biden’s review. However, further action may be postponed due to the Ukraine issue.
According to two people, Yellen believes the executive order is unnecessary, particularly any reference of a central bank-issued digital currency. The Treasury Secretary and her colleagues argue that the Federal Reserve, which issued a report last month, is still working on the issue and should be given more time to develop its ideas. Her team has also informed the White House that the Treasury Department and federal authorities, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, are working to clarify the industry on US rules governing virtual currencies.
According to Treasury spokesman John Rizzo, the allegation is “inaccurate,” who did not address Yellen’s cooperation with the White House in writing the order. “The Treasury continues to work closely with our partners throughout the administration and in the White House,” he said. A White House spokesperson also said that the administration is united in its work in digital-asset policy.
Over the last few years, federal agencies have taken a piecemeal approach to digital assets, and Biden’s staff is under pressure to take the lead. Industry executives frequently complain about a lack of clarity in US rules, while some fear that China’s and other countries’ support of government-backed coinage would endanger the dollar’s dominance.
In August, White House officials began working on a centralized strategy for cryptocurrency.