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Reinforcing U.S. Leadership and Competitiveness in Digital Assets

By Cindy Sandomenico & Laura Zindel

Recent volatility in the digital assets market doesn’t appear to slow its growth. In fact, Fidelity recently found that nearly 90% of institutional investors find characteristics of digital assets appealing.[1] As investor interest continues to grow, retirement plan sponsors should pay close attention to developments in the digital assets industry, as plan sponsors may soon need to decide whether to add digital assets to their plan’s lineup.

In this article, we describe another critical section of the White House’s framework related to global infrastructure.

Background on U.S. History in Digital Assets

Over the last several years, the United States has led the global conversation on developing a safe and stable system for digital assets. For example, the United States led the development and adoption of the first international standards on digital assets in 2018. It spearheaded the creation of the G7’s Digital Payments Experts Group to examine digital payment systems and the potential for a digital dollar in 2020.

Reinforcing U.S. Financial Leadership

In mid-2022, the Treasury released the following framework for international engagement on digital assets:

  • Standards: The United States will use its leadership positions in specific organizations, including the G7, G20, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Financial Stability Board, Financial Action Task Force, and International Organization for Standardization, to promote standards that reflect our values in areas like data privacy, accessible and efficient markets, financial stability, consumer protection, law enforcement, and environmental sustainability.
  • Enforcement: The State Department, Department of Justice, and other enforcement agencies will enhance partnerships with foreign countries and global enforcement organizations to improve the ability to achieve common goals.
  • Technical assistance: The State Department, Department of the Treasury, USAID, and other agencies will extend technical assistance to developing countries, including legal and regulatory frameworks and information on the risks and opportunities of digital assets.
  • Business development: The Department of Commerce will introduce or help strengthen the presence of U.S. financial technology and digital asset businesses in global markets.

Being a world leader in the financial industry helps the United States maintain its technological edge and ensures the country remains competitive as digital payments take on a more significant role in the global economy. Additionally, the United States plans to partner with countries that have yet to set up their digital asset systems. These policy recommendations continued U.S. research, and other goals will help to set standards for the world and minimize fraud and other nefarious actions.

[1] Business Wire, “Fidelity Digital Assets Research Finds Increased Adoption of Digital Assets Among Institutional Investors in U.S. and Europe,” October 27, 2022.

Cindy Sandomenico, Digital Assets, Employee Benefit Plans, Laura Zindel

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