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March 9, 2022

Bringing the Disinfectant of Sunlight to the Digital Asset/Crypto Industry, President Biden’s Executive Order to Develop Consumer and Systemic Protections Is Welcome

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets, issued the following statement regarding the Executive Order issued today by President Biden to ensure responsible innovation in digital assets:

“As Justice Brandeis said, “sunlight is the best disinfectant” and lots of disinfectant is needed in the dark and unregulated crypto and digital asset space.  For too long, too many in the crypto industry have enriched themselves while making unqualified and baseless claims of nirvana for all from the so-called “innovation” of crypto and other digital assets.  Many of those riches have been spent on a massive influence campaign by the cryptocurrency industry and its army of celebrity spokespeople to sell all sorts of alleged benefits to the public.  As we’ve all seen from the gut-wrenching volatility and frequent headlines of significant, egregious fraud, too many consumers have been on the losing end of that Siren song of innovation.

“Robust, independent and data-driven analysis of the claimed benefits of digital assets is imperative and, if indeed there are any, they must be carefully weighed and balanced against consumer protection and financial stability concerns.  That’s what President Biden’s executive order today promises and why we welcome it:  a government-wide assessment of the risks and benefits, if any, of digital assets, especially cryptocurrencies, and the development of a comprehensive and effective regulatory framework.

“Given the industry’s ongoing relentless targeting of hardworking Main Street families, regulators must embrace this executive order and act quickly.  However, that process must not be allowed to be captured by the industry.  At every agency and department, including in particular at the White House, the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve, that analytic process must be fully transparent, include maximum public disclosure, and, not just involve, but also facilitate public input from the beginning to the end of the process.  Those fundamental steps are necessary to determine the validity of the promises of the industry while appropriately managing the risks and consumer protection issues for the benefit of American consumers and the economy.  It is also necessary for the public to trust and have confidence in the result of the process.”

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Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.org.

Contact: Evelyn Swan at 202-618-6433 or eswan@bettermarkets.org

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