The recent Executive Order from President Biden represents the maturation of an industry that I have been involved in and we at Metallicus have been committed to for over the last five years. I strongly believe that both cryptocurrency and fiat currency will exist side-by-side and have developed products and services that meet this vision at Metallicus, Inc. My three favorite parts of the EO included a reference to ‘non state issued digital assets’, the policy of ‘same business, same risk, same rules,’ and the notion of getting ready for a ‘CBDC’ to stay competitive with the U.S. dollar.
First, the acknowledgment of cryptocurrencies as a ‘non-state issued digital assets’ from the first comprehensive policy by the President of the United States is a huge win for crypto. In that the President of the U.S. has listed in an Executive Order not a ‘criticism’ of digital assets, but acknowledge the existence of the digital asset as something like digital money, but simply not a ‘FIAT’ or state-created asset, shows the forward-thinking and progressive nature of our country that relies on technological innovations for the success of our nation.
Secondly, the notion of ‘same business, same risk, same rules’, speaks to this report’s attempt to align the risks that cryptocurrency exchanges face every day, and why as an organization, we have sought after getting a bank charter. Our organization believes in ‘running to regulation’, and that the more our business model can coalesce and work together with regulators, the better off cryptocurrency will be. To acknowledge that some products and services are not only ‘bank-like’, but the same as bank products and services, and to understand that therefore there are risks associated with these products and services that must be managed, is the first step toward accountability and responsibility that I recommend all of my colleagues who run cryptocurrency exchanges similarly consider. Most importantly, digital assets should not be given loopholes or provided options within the law where some items are treated differently. As I helped with the introduction of the Crypto-Currency Act of 2020, I stayed committed to the principles in the bill that there are ‘crypto-securities’, ‘crypto-commodities’ and ‘crypto-currencies’, where the underlying type of activity defines the digital asset.
Finally, the notion of a CBDC or central bank digital currency, is what I believe is a critical way for us to stay competitive and what we think about a lot in terms of building the infrastructure both at Metallicus, Inc. and for our Proton blockchain. As I wrote last year in the Hill, the first actions of Secretary Yellen would likely set the tone for the next four years, and not only does this E.O. focus on ways to develop and grow the cryptocurrency industry safely, it also focuses on ways to see how a CBDC could help be developed and keep us competitive on the world stage. I think taking a ‘whole-of-government’ approach to cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and CBDCs is the right step, and asking in the E.O. for the U.S. Government itself to focus on being ‘CBDC-ready’, rather than just asking the Federal Reserve to make such a monumental decision, is the right thing to do.
Myself and the team at Metallicus, Inc. are excited to see what comes next and stand ready to support the Administration as it works to coordinate amongst the agencies a cryptocurrency policy that will work for America.
Marshall Hayner, CEO of Metal, the first digital crypto banking platform formed in 2016, has 10 years of cryptocurrency, blockchain and related banking experience. Prior to Metal, he created the first Facebook integrated Bitcoin wallet, QuickCoin, in 2013, and the following year helped launch the Stellar blockchain. He has advised numerous blockchain and cryptocurrency startups. Follow him on Twitter @MarshallHayner.