The cryptocurrency industry is continually evolving and expanding, making it critical to understand the perspectives of US government officials who shape the legal landscape.

At the DC Blockchain Summit, Sanjeev Bhasker, US Digital Currency Counsel at the Digital Currency Initiative of the DOJ’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section/NCET, Matt Cronin, Director of National Cybersecurity at the Office of the National Cyber Director, and Sandra Lee, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Financial Stability Oversight Council at the Department of the Treasury, provided unique perspectives on the legal issues and challenges facing the cryptocurrency industry.

According to Bhasker, the DOJ has digital currency initiatives focused on prosecuting cases involving digital assets, training law enforcement on crypto technology, policy work, and private sector engagement. “We’ve decided that we want to encourage dialogue with industry when it comes to sharing information. Also, being able to develop points of contact to understand who you can contact with the DOJ if you have questions about a certain area and subsequently who will be contacted at your respective company when it comes to understanding the emerging technologies,” he said.

Bhasker referred to various government reports addressing digital assets that have been developed in response to a declaration issued by the Biden administration last year, which called for action on topics such as international cooperation, uniform regulations, and judicial arbitrage in relation to digital assets. Bhasker stated that the goal was to create a consistent, universal playing field and that the focus was on digital assets as a whole, both domestically and internationally.

Cronin said that shifting the burden of cybersecurity “onto those best able to bear it” is crucial. He stressed the importance of investing in greater cybersecurity and greater resiliency long-term where cybersecurity is a foundational principle.

Lee said that the mission of their work is to address potential risks for U.S. financial security. “We all come together to share information, promote coordination, and also do consensus-building on the issues that are relevant to us on financial stability,” she said.

Regarding the executive orders on digital assets and financial stability, Lee said reports found that “digital assets could pose a risk to financial stability if their interconnections with the traditional financial system or their scale were to grow without adherence to appropriate regulation.”

Cronin said that the White House is very much on top of the issues surrounding digital assets. “The interagency is very focused on this issue, and we are listening to what the private sector has to say,” he said.

Bhasker emphasized that sharing, teaching, and listening are the fundamentals for developing good compliance in the crypto realm. Lee said, “Both in industry and academia, nonprofits, and the technology sector, we found that outreach was incredibly important and helpful” for the development of reports.

Cronin stated that the goal for the White House is that when this new technology hits primetime and mass adoption and goes across the world, it is adopted in a way that is consistent “with fundamental human values, fundamental human rights, and the way that we see ourselves as Americans, furthering those rights that include privacy and accountability.”

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The DC Blockchain Summit, hosted by the Chamber of Digital Commerce, kicked off in Washington DC today. Throughout the full day of meetings, experts from the government and private sector convened to discuss the current state and future prospects of blockchain technology, digital assets, and decentralized finance (DeFi). With topics ranging from the regulatory environment…

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department at...

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