Biden Executive Order Crypto: Digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies, have exploded in value in recent years, reaching a market valuation of $3 trillion last November, up from $14 billion just five years ago.
According to surveys, around 16 percent of adult Americans, or 40 million people, have invested in, traded, or utilized cryptocurrencies. Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), a digital version of a country’s sovereign currency, are being explored or piloted in over 100 nations.
The growth of digital assets presents an opportunity for the United States to strengthen its leadership in the global financial system and on the technology frontier, but it also has significant consequences for consumer protection, financial stability, national security, and climate risk.
The US must maintain technological leadership in this quickly evolving field, fostering innovation while reducing risks to consumers, businesses, the financial system, and the environment. It also has to take the lead in international engagement and global control of digital assets in a way that is consistent with democratic values and US global competitiveness.
That is why, President Biden will sign an Executive Order establishing the first-ever, whole-of-government approach to tackling the dangers and realizing the potential advantages of digital assets and the technology that underpins them.
Consumer and investor protection; financial stability; illicit financing; U.S. leadership in the global financial system and economic competitiveness; financial inclusion; and responsible innovation are among the six primary themes outlined in the Order.
One market expert raised concerns about the “apparently unorganized” effort more than a month after President Biden signed an executive order supporting the responsible growth of digital assets and cryptocurrencies.
On Tuesday, Crypto Republic CEO Andrew Durgee told FOX Business’s Maria Bartiromo, “The executive order is kind of a mixed bag.” “There are a lot of nice things and a lot of bad things associated with it.”
“However, in our perspective, it appears to be a chaotic order,” he continued.
While Biden detailed a government strategy for dealing with the risks and benefits of cryptocurrency, Durgee said on “Mornings with Maria” that involving too many agencies can lead to regulatory ambiguity.
State and federal enforcement actions involving crypto and NFTs have continued to dominate the regulatory scene, with an apparent rise in March, coinciding with the issue of the White House’s Executive Order.
Durgee went on to say that the Biden administration is in the midst of crypto “fact-finding.”
He stated, “The reality is crypto impacts a lot of things.” “So they’re trying to figure out what the benefits and drawbacks are for all of these different areas.”
Stablecoins like bitcoin and Ethereum, according to Durgee, could represent a threat to established currencies.
In the absence of federal restrictions, crypto executives and lobbyists in the United States are working with state lawmakers around the country to develop favorable legislation, according to research released Monday.
“Understanding the influence of stablecoins on sovereign states and their own capital markets will be extremely crucial,” the Crypto Republic CEO continued.
Crypto Fraud On March 8, 2022
Because bitcoin is a commodity subject to the CFTC’s enforcement jurisdiction, the CFTC charged four individuals with fraud for operating a bitcoin Ponzi scheme on March 8.
The defendants are accused of defrauding potential investors out of more than $21 million in bitcoin by promising that experienced traders would handle their bitcoin portfolios and pay daily trading winnings. Instead, the defendants stole clients’ bitcoin or used it to pay purported profits to customers who had previously signed up.
The SEC also charged two defendants on March 8 with cheating retail investors out of about $124 million through unregistered securities offerings employing a digital currency invented by the defendants.
The defendants allegedly offered the token to investors through subscription packages advertised on crypto trading platforms, fraudulently claiming the token was backed by a $250 million crypto mining business that generated $5.4 million to $8 million in mining revenue every month. The defendants also reportedly forged a website to depict a phony wallet containing more than $190 million in digital assets, despite the fact that the token wallets were only worth $500,000.
Crypto Fraud On March 24, 2022
In conjunction with a million-dollar NFT scheme, the DOJ accused two individuals on March 24 of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The defendants promised owners of their NFTs holder benefits like gifts, early access to a metaverse game, and unique mint passes for subsequent seasons, according to the complaint.
Rather than providing the benefits promised to NFT buyers, the defendants transferred the scheme’s cryptocurrency profits to multiple cryptocurrency wallets under their control. The scheme was dubbed a “rug pull” by the DOJ, which observed its growing popularity among criminals.
A rug pull occurs when the author of an NFT and/or gaming project solicits donations based on the promise of establishing usefulness for the NFTs, but then abruptly abandons the project and keeps the proceeds.
Crypto Fraud On April 13, 2022
Texas and Alabama regulators issued a cease-and-desist order on April 13 against a group selling NFTs to fund the creation of virtual casinos in the metaverse, claiming that the sales were actually unregistered securities.
The regulators claim that the NFTs entitles owners to a pro-rata portion of income earned by internet and metaverse casinos, among other things. The regulators were able to determine that this group was selling unregistered securities based on these and other factors.
Finally, on April 13, the owner of dozens of unlawful cryptocurrency kiosks in New York City, New Jersey, and Miami was charged with tax fraud and running unlicensed ATMs after converting more than $5.6 million in cash into bitcoin.
These Bitcoin ATMs, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, attracted people with criminal backgrounds relating to drug sales and credit card theft.
In addition, the Bitcoin ATM operator lacked the necessary state and federal licensing and registration to operate a virtual currency business. When more than $5.6 million was put into the ATMs in the same timeframe, the ATM owner declared only $3,000 in income on his 2017 tax returns and a loss of $140,000 on his 2018 tax filings.
Implementation: Crypto and NFT-related enforcement concerns are expected to grow at a faster rate than ever before. In addition to continuing to monitor signals from state and federal regulators in order to navigate the murky regulatory waters that are attracting the attention of an ever-increasing number of law enforcement agencies, market participants must ensure they have the necessary state and federal licenses and registrations to offer their products.