The White House released its first comprehensive framework this month for the Responsible Development of Digital Assets following President Joe Biden’s March 9 executive order. The order called for regulators to assess the industry and develop recommendations to safeguard investors while simultaneously promoting innovation. While more work is needed, the framework is a step in the right direction as it shows the willingness of regulators to provide the industry with the much-needed regulatory clarity it seeks. The framework’s recommendations addressed six key areas to protect market participants, offer access to financial services, and promote innovation. While Biden’s administration has focused more on just the protection of consumers in the industry in the past, it is encouraging to see the framework focus on all three groups in the industry: consumers, investors and businesses. The framework cited a 2018 Wall Street Journal study that showed nearly a quarter of coin offerings had red flags such as plagiarized documents and promises for return on investment. To encourage protection, the framework encouraged regulators to “aggressively pursue” unlawful practices in the industry, redouble enforcement efforts and increase public-awareness efforts to promote education in this area.
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