The Crypto Council for Innovation interprets Joe Biden's move as recognition of the "tremendous potential" of crypto and its importance to the American people.
Circle's CEO and co-founder Jeremy Allaire said the White House's plans to create a unified approach for regulating the industry "is a watershed moment for crypto, digital assets and Web3, akin to the 1996/1997 whole of government wakeup to the commercial internet."
Allaire believes that the U.S. is beginning to realize that digital assets "represent one of the most significant technologies and infrastructures for the 21st century" — and the executive order gives Washington the chance to "lean into an open, internet-native economic infrastructure while others focus on closed, tightly controlled and privacy-eroding alternatives."
He also argued that industry leaders within crypto should see this executive order "as the single biggest opportunity to engage with policymakers on the issues that matter," adding:
"The proverbial doors of policymakers are WIDE OPEN, this is now a NATIONAL conversation in the U.S."
Meanwhile, the Crypto Council for Innovation was equally upbeat — and interpreted Biden's move as recognition of the "tremendous potential" of crypto and its importance to the American people. In a statement, it described the executive order as a "significant step" and vowed to work with regulators to develop "smart policies that bolster America's position as a global leader of crypto innovation."
Arguing that regulation could help spur financial inclusion, the council added:
"We applaud this effort and we're encouraged by the directive's focus on policies that ensure everyone in the United States and beyond can realize the opportunities and innovation the industry offers. We welcome the move towards regulatory clarity and share the administration's commitment to responsible financial innovation and a more fair, inclusive economy."
'About as Good as We Can Ask'
Even heavyweights in the decentralized finance sector were upbeat about the executive order. Compound's Robert Leshner says it's a sign that the Biden administration "is focused on enabling crypto innovation, not crushing it" — adding that consumers and investors have many reasons to be optimistic. Uniswap said it was "excited" at the prospect of the U.S. government examining the impact that crypto is having on people's lives.
Before the executive order was released, crypto enthusiast and Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki had predicted that it would ultimately lead to all cryptocurrencies being seized and folded into a digital dollar that would be issued by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Such dire warnings now seem completely off the mark. Jake Chervinsky, head of policy at the Blockchain Association, tweeted:
"Anyone worried that President Biden's executive order would spell doom and gloom for crypto can fully relax now. The main concern was that the executive order might force rushed rulemaking or impose new and bad restrictions, but there's nothing like that here. It's about as good as we could ask."
Inevitably, there are those who believe it is too early to pop open the champagne just yet. Some crypto executives believe there is a lack of clarity surrounding what government agencies are being tasked with — and the vague language still points to restrictions on this asset class being imposed.
CoinShares' chief strategy officer Meltem Demirors warned that many of the statements in Biden's executive order were "factually questionable" — telling Bloomberg that they made "certain implications about how cryptocurrencies are being used, about the purported environmental impacts."
She also pointed out that the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are independent agencies — and both will have an instrumental role in deciding how crypto markets should be regulated. All of this means that, while the White House can consult with these organizations, the power is in their hands.
Meanwhile, Senator Cynthia Lummis — a staunch Bitcoin supporter on the Hill — wrote:
"It's great to see the Biden administration's growing interest in digital assets, and while I agree with the president's desire to combat money laundering and defend America's national security, I think his executive order misses the fact that the overwhelming majority of digital asset users are law abiding and trying to make our financial system better … I will be laying out my own thoughts on digital asset legislation imminently. Congress is ultimately the arbiter of these issues, and it's time we step up our conversations and work on real legislation."
Bitcoin had rallied to $42,465 on Wednesday amid optimism about the executive order, but the world's biggest cryptocurrency has since handed back all of these gains, falling 7% over the past 24 hours to $39,123. It's down 10% on the week.
The downward momentum may be linked to the imminent release of inflation data in the U.S. Analysts are expecting the Consumer Price Index to hit 7.8%, as geopolitical tensions linked to Russia's invasion of Ukraine spark fears that the cost-of-living crisis will rumble on even longer than first thought. Traders are also keeping a close eye on the European Central Bank to see whether it intends to increase interest rates.