U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is about to tell the crypto industry what she thinks of it in her first speech to focus on digital assets.
Yellen will outline how the Department of the Treasury views cryptocurrencies as an emerging part of the economy during a Thursday event at American University in Washington. The 10:30 a.m. speech is expected to echo some of the sentiments expressed previously in President Joe Biden’s executive order that called for further scrutiny on the industry.
“Secretary Yellen will make the case for a consistent and comprehensive policy framework that promotes responsible innovation of digital assets and appropriately assesses and mitigates the risks they may pose,” according to a Tuesday statement from the Treasury.
The Treasury, White House and federal regulatory agencies have been devoting increased attention to crypto since last year – especially toward stablecoins. Yellen’s Treasury was instrumental in drafting last year’s report from the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets that marked the U.S. government’s opening salvo on establishing rules for dollar-backed stablecoins.
The U.S. regulators have been leaning heavily on Congress to authorize new rules of the road that govern stablecoin issuers in much the same way the government oversees banks. If lawmakers fail to produce results, agencies including the Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Reserve are planning to use another channel – the umbrella group of top regulators known as the Financial Stability Oversight Council – to push for new oversight, despite limits on the council’s powers.
An early crypto skeptic during her time as Fed chair, Yellen has since struck a more careful tone that acknowledges the industry’s financial innovations and that digital tokens and decentralized finance are playing increasingly important roles in Americans’ investments.
UPDATE (April 5, 16:26 UTC): Adds additional information from the Treasury in third paragraph; amends that the speech is Thursday.
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