Značka: White House

President Biden sends CFTC nominations to Senate

The White House has officially submitted President Joe Biden’s nominations to fill two seats at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission with the upcoming departure of another commissioner.In a Friday announcement, the White House said it had sent Citi managing director Caroline Pham’s and Summer Mersinger’s names to the Senate for confirmation. Mersinger previously served as chief of staff to commissioner Dawn Stump — who is expected to leave the agency this year — as well as the director of the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs. She and Pham will be taking the places of recently departed Commissioner Dan Berkovitz, whose term expires in April 2023, and that of Stump, with a term ending in April 2027, respectively. The CFTC nominations came the same week the White House officially announced it had sent the nominations of Jerome Powell and Lael Brainard to the Senate to await confirmation before serving as the next chair and vice-chair of the Federal Reserve, respectively. Confirmation from the Senate would allow Powell and Brainard to act as two of the top leaders of the Fed until 2026. President Biden also submitted Christy Goldsmith Romero’s and Kristin Johnson’s names for the remainder of the empty CFTC seats on Tuesday.With the nominations for four CFTC commissioners — subject to confirmation from U.S. lawmakers — there will no longer be any vacancies at the agency in 2022 after a shakeup in leadership. Berkovitz announced in September that he was planning to leave the CFTC on Oct. 15 to join the Securities and Exchange Commission as general counsel, and the Senate confirmed the nomination of Rostin Behnam to chair the CFTC in December. At the moment, the Democratic party under the leadership of President Joe Biden controls 50 of the 100 seats in the Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris able to act as a tiebreaker if needed. A simple majority vote is needed to confirm the president’s CFTC picks.While the White House has put forth four names for CFTC commissioners, it has yet to officially name candidates to fill upcoming vacancies at the Federal Reserve. Board member Randal Quarles resigned his position effective as of the end of December 2021, while current vice-chair Richard Clarida is expected to leave by February 2022. A Wednesday report from the Washington Post suggested the U.S. president is considering Duke University law professor Sarah Bloom Raskin to join the group of seven governors serving at the Fed, in addition to economists Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson.Related: It’s now or never — The US has to prepare itself for digital currencyThere may also be an opportunity for Biden to shake up the leadership at another government agency responsible for digital asset regulation in the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission. SEC commissioner Elad Roisman is expected to leave the agency by the end of January and commissioner Allison Lee’s term is set to expire in June. Some experts have noted that placing different financial experts across these three major U.S. government agencies could have an impact on crypto-related policy.

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Crypto tumblers, exchanges under microscope as DOJ launches new task force

The White House, under the Biden-Harris administration, introduced a five-pillar strategy to counter corruption as a part of the core United States national security interest. The strategy involves establishing a new task force to address potential illicit activities on crypto exchanges and other services that can serve as avenues for money laundering.With the motive to enhance enforcement of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations, as well as criminal and civil laws, the Federal government plans to implement new tools for investigating and prosecuting money laundering offenses. Specifically for cryptocurrencies, “PILLAR THREE: Holding Corrupt Actors Accountable” highlights:“DOJ [Deparment of Justice] will utilize a newly established task force, the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team, to focus specifically on complex investigations and prosecutions of criminal misuses of cryptocurrency.”The White House mentioned that the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team would be particularly responsible for overseeing “crimes committed by virtual currency exchanges, mixing and tumbling services, and money laundering infrastructure actors.”The DOJ has also expanded subpoena power for certain financial records maintained abroad while imposing new disclosure requirements for beneficial ownership information. The department also plans to incentivize whistleblowers for sharing information that leads to the identification and seizure of illicit proceeds.Related: House committee announces crypto CEOs will testify at Dec. 8 hearing on digital assetsRunning parallel to the White House’s latest initiative, Representative Maxine Waters, the Chair of the House Committee on Financial Services, has invited CEOs of eight major crypto companies to discuss digital assets and the future of finance, to be held on Dec. 8.As Cointelegraph reported, the CEOs of Circle, FTX, Bitfury, Paxos, Stellar Development Foundation, Coinbase and Coinbase Global CFO will be attending the committee hearing.Looking forward to hearing next week with @RepMaxineWaters, ranking member @PatrickMcHenry, and the full committee (@FSCDems) to discuss Crypto and national economic competitiveness for the United States. https://t.co/rVHAvaPMUd— Jeremy Allaire (@jerallaire) December 1, 2021

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Digital dollar needs broad consensus among authorities, says US Treasury Secretary

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has given her opinions on the potential of a digital dollar but is hesitant to come to any conclusions at this stage in proceedings. Yellen said on Thursday that she had not formed a view on whether the Federal Reserve should create a digital version of the dollar, but such a move would require broad consensus among Congress, the U.S. central bank and the White House. This follows the recent reports that the Federal Reserve is currently researching whether an electronic version of the greenback would be beneficial or not. Yellen said that she sees both pros and cons to the digital dollar. Although she does have thoughts on its implementation, she feels more research needs to be done before coming up with any definite answers.According to Yellen, the advantages of a central bank digital currency need further study, including its effects on banking institutions.In contrast, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard, whom President Biden has chosen for vice-chair of the US central bank, has called for urgency in establishing a digital dollar. She suggested that she can’t fathom not having one when China and other nations are developing their own central bank digital currencies, which she considers a race to the top.Related: It’s now or never — The US has to prepare itself for digital currencyAccording to the Fed secretary, a consensus is required before moving forward. Yellen said that the Federal Reserve was working on a study on the issue and that it would be available soon, and they are cognizant that broad agreement among authorities would need to take place before they could move forward.”This is a decision that’s important and needs to command consensus. There are some benefits, but there are also meaningful costs.”As Cointelegraph reported in September, Fed Chair Jerome Powell stated that there was no need for the central bank to hurry their digital currency development plans. Despite several central banks creating their own CBDCs, Powell said the Fed was not rushing to embrace the movement.

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