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Background Press Call by Senior Administration Officials on the First-Ever Comprehensive Framework for Responsible Development of Digital Assets

September 15, 2022

Via Teleconference

MODERATOR: Thank you, everyone, and thanks for joining. Today we're doing a press call on the new Comprehensive Framework for Responsible Development of Digital Assets.

The first part of the call is on the record so we're going to go ahead and get that started. And I'm going to turn it over to Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese. Over to you.

MR. DEESE: Thanks, and thank you all for joining here today. I'll be brief at the top and them I'm going to turn it over to my colleagues, Secretary Yellen and Director Nelson.

Just to start, the bottom line here is that the responsible development of digital assets is vital for American interests, from the well-being of consumers and investors to the safety and stability of our financial system, and for our financial and technological leadership around the world.

And we've seen in recent months substantial turmoil in cryptocurrency markets, and these events really highlight how, without proper oversight, cryptocurrencies risk harming everyday American's financial stability and our national security. And it is why this administration believes that now more than ever prudent regulation of cryptocurrencies is needed if digital assets are going to play a role that we believe they can in fostering innovation and supporting our economic and technological competitiveness.

This starts back -- to, you know, dial the clock back to last March when the President recognized with the issuing of EO 14067 that this needed to be a priority for the entirety of the executive branch. And that executive order tasked agencies with doing deep analysis of digital assets' risks and opportunities in submitting policy recommendations so that we can build a framework that harnesses the potential benefits while decisively mitigating the risks.

And I -- you know, what we're here today to do is to mark, after 180 days of work, where we are and, in particular, to highlight the release of many of the reports contemplated under that executive order.

Across the government -- Department of Treasury, Commerce, Justice, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy had been the primary authors and drivers of these reports, and they are the result of an extensive interagency process that reflect input and expertise of diverse stakeholders across government, industry, academia, and civil society. And I want to thank all of our partners for their contributions.

I'm just going to very quickly highlight a couple of the topline findings from these reports before turning it over to our leaders who can highlight the findings in more detail.

Three quick points. First, these reports underscore and advance our understanding of the policy implications and technical choices surrounding a potential U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency should one be deemed to be in the national interest, and they facilitate further analysis and experimentation. As an administration, as Secretary Yellen will detail, we encourage the Federal Reserve to continue its ongoing research and experimentation around a potential CBDC, and we look forward to continuing the work at the technical level with our interagency partners to support this effort. And that the team's principals and deputies at the Federal Reserve, the National Economic Council, the National Security Council, OSTP, and the Treasury Department will meet regularly to discuss the working group's progress and share updates on CBDC and other payment innovations.

The report that is being released also calls for continued and more engagement with international partners on CBDC systems, which is a critical priority. And as an administration, we will prioritize those engagements.

Second, today's report articulates a comprehensive strategy for mitigating digital assets' harms, especially the harms to consumers and the environment. I want to highlight that the report's proposed steps for countering cryptocurrencies use in illicit finance activity in particular, and these steps reflect the administration's focus on illicit finance threats and builds on the progress of prior work with agencies including with our international partners. For example, we convened a counter-ransomware initiative with over 30 countries this month for a virtual summit addressing global strategies to disrupt ransomware activities.

And third, the reports provide a roadmap for reaping the fruits of responsible innovation and digital asset development, and to do so -- and to advance innovation, the reports call for the federal government to craft a digital asset research and development agenda. Through that initiative, government agencies will kick start new scientific and technical research, collaborating with key partners in academia, industry, and civil society.

And additionally, we will develop cross-government strategies for proactive global leadership on digital assets, as I mentioned. And we believe that continued global leadership will reinforce the pivotal role that the U.S. plays in the world financial system and help global digital asset development proceed in a way that reflects American values.

Each of these steps -- these are just three steps -- many others outlined in the report helps to make progress toward responsible development of digital assets, which is our core goal, as I started with. And they lay the groundwork for what we believe can be a thoughtful and comprehensive approach to mitigating the risks and, where proven, harness the benefits. And we look forward to continuing this work.

I will end by saying: Consistent with the President's direction in the executive order, we will continue to prioritize this critical work across the executive branch.

So with that, let me turn it over to Secretary Yellen, who can provide more detail around the Treasury Department's report being released. Thank you.

SECRETARY YELLEN: Thank you very much, Brian. And I'd first like to recognize President Biden's leadership on digital assets and for convening experts from across the administration to ensure a coordinated and comprehensive approach to digital assets policy. And I'd like to thank him for charging the Treasury Department with a leadership role in this work by calling on us to develop reports that address fundamental issues in this new and rapidly evolving area.

Innovation is one of the hallmarks of a vibrant financial system and economy. But as we've painfully learned from history, innovation without adequate regulation can result in significant disruptions and harm to the financial systems and individuals. And this is especially true for communities that are most vulnerable to these risks.

Tomorrow, the Treasury Department will be releasing three reports on key issues surrounding the responsible development of digital assets for financial services. The reports clearly identify the real challenges and risks of digital assets used for financial services. At the same time, if these risks are mitigated, digital assets and other emerging technologies could offer significant opportunities.

The first report is about the future of the U.S money and payment system. Right now, some aspects of our current payment system are too slow or too expensive. The report encourages continued work on innovations to promote a system that is more competitive, efficient, and inclusive, and that also helps maintain and build on the United States global financial leadership.

The report makes several recommendations to achieve these objectives. The first recommendation is to advance policy and technical work on a potential central bank digital currency, or CBDC, so that the United States is prepared if a CBDC is determined to be in the national interest.

To advance this work, Treasury will lead an interagency working group to coordinate and consider questions necessary for a potential CBDC. The working group will leverage expertise from across the administration and support the ongoing work of the Federal Reserve on the CBDC. It will engage in information sharing with our allies and partners to promote responsible development of CBDCs.

The report also encourages the use of instant payment systems and efforts to improve cross-border payments. The report recommends establishing a federal framework for payments regulation to protect users and the financial system while supporting responsible innovations.

The second report reviews current use cases for crypto assets and their effects on consumers, investors, and businesses. And this includes effects on underserved communities and those who are most vulnerable for the risks of crypto assets. As we've seen over the past few months, risks stemming from improper conduct related to the trading of crypto assets continue to present an especially grave area of concern. This includes frauds, thefts, and scams.

We recommend that agencies continue to rigorously pursue their enforcement efforts focused on the crypto-asset sector. Agencies should use existing authorities to issue additional supervisory guidance and rules to address current and emerging risks. Further, we recommend that agencies work to ensure that American consumers, investors, and businesses have access to trustworthy information on crypto assets.

The third report builds on the foundation established by the National Illicit Finance Strategy and the National Risk Assessments published earlier this year. It carries forward the principles of the strategy and lays out a more detailed, illicit finance action plan.

The action plan lays out seven priority actions. These actions will guide our longstanding efforts to prevent digital assets from being used for financial crimes, such as money laundering and terrorism financing. The actions include strengthening U.S. AML/CFT supervision of virtual asset activities, disrupting illicit actors, expanding public-private dialogue, and improving global regulation and enforcement of international standards. The action plan also recommends continued monitoring of emerging risks in the digital asset sector to identify potential gaps in our regulatory regime.

Overall, I believe that these reports, as well as others that we have consulted on with our interagency partners, provide a strong foundation for policymakers as we work to realize the potential benefits of digital assets and to mitigate and minimize the risks.

These reports are in addition to the Framework for International Engagement on Digital Assets, which Treasury released in early July.

And we will supplement this work soon; the Financial Stability Oversight Council will release a report on digital asset financial stability risks and regulations as required by the executive order. And I will have more to share on the substance of that report once it's released.

So thank you for joining us on that call and let me now turn it over to Director Alondra Nelson, from OSTP.

DR. NELSON: Thank you very much, Secretary Yellen. Thank you, also, Director Deese. Thank you both for your leadership and your partnership in this whole-of-government approach to digital assets. And thank you to our colleagues in journalism for being with us.

Before I start, I want to just recognize the teams at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, OSTP, for their incredibly hard work on, in particular, two of the really rigorous digital asset reports (inaudible) briefly for you while we're on the call this afternoon.

As our moderator noted at the top, I lead the Office of Science and Technology Policy. And our job really and our mandate from Congress since 1976 and from the President is to maximize the benefits of science and technology to advance health, prosperity, security, environmental quality, and justice for all of the American public.

In addition to this, by our founding mandate, OSTP is the office in the Executive Office of the President that's really kind of focused on the future. So a lot of our work is engaged with tackling tough challenges of today, endeavoring to anticipate the unknown opportunities and obstacles that lie ahead, and really trying to drive boldly the country and the nation towards solutions.

So this work means often taking a hard look at today's innovations and technologies and things that are just cresting on the edge of new technologies, and evaluating their potential to either shape or hinder a safe, equitable, and flourishing future for all of us.

So the two reports I mentioned. One, last week, we released a report on the Climate and Energy Implications of Crypto Assets. In our climate report, we found that crypto assets consumed between 1 percent and 2 percent of all U.S. electricity each year. We also found that crypto asset activity produces between 0.4 to 0.8 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. That's similar to the emissions from iron and steel production in the United States by way of comparison.

The crypto asset industry is expanding rapidly using more electricity and producing more emissions. And crypto mining affects local communities with noise pollution, as well as air and water pollution from direct fossil-fired electricity. These local community impacts can exacerbate environmental justice issues for communities that are already burdened by other pollutants. We need to make sure that crypto asset operations do not impede our goals to protect communities, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and achieve a carbon pollution-free electricity grid.

The recommendations in our report align with these goals while also recognizing that innovations in this technology could help with climate monitoring and mitigation.

Earlier this week, we saw a major crypto player begin transitioning to a less energy-intensive model, a good first step that we should encourage others to consider.

Innovation in the financial sector has the potential to transform money and payments. This transformation may reach the core of our financial system through the introduction of a Central Bank Digital Currency -- or CBDC.

Our second report provides a technical evaluation for a potential U.S. CBDC system. In theory, a U.S. CBDC system could facilitate efficient and low-cost transactions, might provide greater access to the financial system, and could help preserve U.S. global financial leadership.

At the Office of Science and Technology Policy, we believe that the best technology policy is specific about the policy objectives we hope to achieve, as well as the technology we're using to achieve these objectives.

That's why we've worked across the federal government, gathering input from dozens of offices and an interagency process to develop a list of specific U.S. policy objectives for CBDCs, including safeguarding privacy and advancing equity.

Our colleagues at the Federal Reserve have also been doing experimentation and research on whether to pursue a CBDC as outlined in their January 2022 discussion paper.

While no decisions have been made to issue a CBDC, our report will help policymakers understand the technical design choices of a CBDC system, and how those choices can best align with the values of the Biden-Harris administration.

These two reports and the larger suite of reports that Secretary Yellen just mentioned are only the beginning. We need to continue working across the federal government to implement the recommendations.

As we take action, we look forward to supporting innovation while prioritizing equity, inclusion, and national security. We will work to expand the benefits of technological innovations for all the American public while reducing harmful financial practices like predatory inclusion of underserved communities.

It's going to take a broad coalition of stakeholders to do this, working together, but we can achieve these goals. And we really appreciate your interest today and this policy work.

With that I turn things back over to you.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Thanks to our speakers for their remarks. This concludes the on-the-record portion of the call.

We're going to now switch to on background, attributable to "senior administration officials" for the question-and-answer session of the call.

For your awareness and not for reporting, the speakers on the call are [senior administration officials].

So, Operator, could you please queue up the directions to ask a question? We're going to take as many questions as we can in the time that we have.

Q: (Inaudible) what you might say to somebody who is hungry for action -- who sees what you're doing and the methodical process, yet feels like it's not commensurate with where we are in the evolution of these assets and has seen the implosion of a stable coin -- so-called stable coin, recently; the precipitous drop in Bitcoin; and how leveraged this industry is becoming (inaudible) it's becoming; and sees you plodding through this but not getting to anything actionable.

I wonder what you would say in response to that, and also, when we might see steps that would be that -- would be, say, the recommendation whether or not to do a CBDC. More concrete steps than just more reports and more research.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Hi, this is (senior administration official). I'll take the question because your question is fundamentally around the risks and it sounds like particularly the risks around consumer protection.

There are some key recommendations on actions regarding consumer protection. There are actions regarding asking agencies to particularly -- I'll just pull that up quickly here.

First, on the congressional side. As you know, Congress is debating legislative steps in that way. But with regard to actually pursuing further work, it calls on agencies to follow up and do the work, to assess the use by consumers.

And frankly, in addressing criminal activity, we've put a lot of work into existing law enforcement tools. And for example, DOJ shut down Hydra, a Russian language dark net marketplace. Hydra that uses trade cryptocurrency for illicit goods and services.

And we're doing additional work as well for agencies to invest in training their personnel and acquiring the most advanced analytic tools for the digital ecosystem.

So I think, to your point, we have significant concerns. We're asking agencies to double down on their work on enforcement of existing regulations, treating these as digital assets, and also looking carefully to say what additional work is needed in the space and watching for the work happening on the Hill to add additional regulation that may be needed as well.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Do any of our other speakers have any comments before we move to the next question?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes. This is (senior administration official). So I reinforce what (senior administration official) just said. One of the reports on the consumer use cases and protections looks exactly at what the current use cases are, identifies areas of misconduct, risks to market integrity, and reinforces with recommendations for the agencies that have already taken enforcement actions to continue to aggressively pursue those actions to address the instances of frauds and scams and other misconduct.

At the same time, it highlights that there are some potential use cases for this technology, especially like distributed ledger technology that could allow more automated transactions, peer to peer, faster settlement and clearing.

And so, you're trying to just make recommendations to address misconduct, risk to market integrity while at the same time reserving some space for innovation to be able to continue.

On your point about Central Bank Digital Currency, the report makes a recommendation to advance further work on policy and technical issues, you know, so that the U.S. is in a position to issue one should it be determined in the national interest.

But I would start with thinking about Central Bank digital currency. It is just the country's sovereign currency in digital form. It is not -- it's a special type of financial asset; it is not just the consumer financial asset.

There are many considerations to con- -- to consider, many factors to consider. On the one hand, it's for competition and innovation and payments, financial inclusion. But there are some risks as well, including the effects on the private intermediation sector, especially in times of stress.

So, I think it is a question that needs to be seriously considered by -- by many across the government. And I think -- so the recommendation is to advance that and have a sequence of regular meetings to discuss the merits of the policies and the technological features of a CBDC -- of a potential CBDC.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Anyone else? All right. Let's go to our second question, please.

Q: Hi, thank you. Thank you for taking questions. I really appreciate it. I have -- I have a couple questions. The first being: After doing all of this information collecting and all of this research, is there any rulemaking through the agencies that the speakers would deem appropriate in the foreseeable future that seem, you know, common sense and obvious given how the industry is evolving?

And then I have another question. We've seen a couple -- a few legislative proposals on what would be regulation for digital assets. And is there -- given what we're talking about today through the executive branch, is there a concern that lawmakers pursuing their own sort of legislation, along with the executive branch pursuing research and eventually giving its own recommendation, there could potentially be any kind of inconsistency in the regulation of the market?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I can start with that. This current set of reports does not ask for specific legislative recommendations.

You may be familiar with a report that had been issued by the President's Working Group on Financial Markets with the OCC and the FDIC to recommend legislation for stable coin, where the work had identified some regulatory gap. So they're -- that had been a legislative recommendation.

There is -- as [senior administration official] had mentioned, there is another report that Treasury lead -- as leading the Financial Stability Oversight Council, will issue in several weeks. And in that report, they were tasked to look at the current regulations and identify any regulatory gaps. So that that work is still ongoing; the council members are discussing that.

So -- but in this case, these reports -- that had not been the task. But there is still plenty to do, just to be clear. The -- you know, one of the recommendations in the consumer and investor protection report was to ask the agencies to carefully review their sets of authorities, what they're using for enforcement, what kinds of authorities they have for guidance, and whether in a coordinated manner the regulatory agencies have -- can address the risks of these activities.

Now, these activities are often financial; they provide financial services. Financial services have been provided in this country for a long time, it's -- but the underlying technology has changed. But it seems the regula- -- the regulations often address the function and the service and are indifferent to the technology. So much of what the existing laws and authorities can address much of the problem. And one the question -- and we -- we recommend enforcing compliance and applying the authorities, and especially in a coordinated way if that expands the reach.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Anyone else have any other thoughts before we go to our next question? All right, let's go to our third question please.

Q: Hi, thanks for -- thanks for doing this. My question is: I understand in the executive order, one of the reports relating to a Central Bank digital currency was going to be focused on the question of whether legislation would be necessary or -- for the creation of a digital dollar. And so, I guess my question is basically a practical one of, is that report -- I guess, what is the finding of that report from DOJ? Will -- is it necessary for Con- -- to act on a (inaudible) to create a digital dollar or what the status of that is?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Hi, Andrew. I'll take that one. We're not going to get ahead of ourselves now while the Fed studies the issue. We believe it's important to work with Congress on this like we have been and are continuing to do.

MODERATOR: I think we can go to our next question please.

Q: Hi. Yes, thanks for taking these questions. Talking about in the executive -- in the summary here about balancing financial innovation with consumer protection and other factors, are there examples of innovation in the private sector that you can identify that are furthering the goals of financial inclusion, reducing costs, and that sort of thing? And are there ways in which you recommend maybe easing off on regulations that you might have recommended because you want to foster that innovation?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I think the -- I think there are definitely examples of private-sector innovations exploring the use of distributed ledger technology for applications.

So you -- there are financial institutions that have internal clearing and settlement systems, and this can speed it up, make it faster, instantaneous, so that -- for example, balances you have to hold for end-of-day settlement, it reduces sort of the holding costs of various securities. There are numbers of examples where private firms are testing this internally.

I think the potential for distributed ledger technology to -- for more broader consumer uses is still being tested. And what we've seen over the last couple of years is that most of the consumer use has been kind of more trading and lending and borrowing. And, you know, as I said, we -- you know, are many cases of misconduct and fraud.

And so, we would -- we definitely recommend we want to, you know, aggressively pursue those and enforce current authorities.

But I don't -- I think we're starting from a place where a new technology is finding new places to test. And we can anticipate where some products look like they could present risks, such as stable coin, and try to regulate in anticipation of them becoming large and more potentially pose larger risks to financial stability. But I can't cite an example that you cited of pulling back on something at this point.

MODERATOR: Thank you. I think we can go to our next question please.

Q: Hey, there. Thanks for the time. So, you know, I've heard -- it seems like more and more lawmakers these days are criticizing the SEC specifically in its -- with regard to its mission to facilitate capital formation by updating its rules in light of this technology. And the industry, similarly, has been asking for some kind of path so they can know if we take these steps -- you know, we're -- we're within guidelines.

So I'm just curious: Is the administration's position that some kind of regulatory update is needed for blockchains? Or do you -- does it agree with SEC Chair Gensler that the existing guidance for coin and token issuers is adequate already?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: So I'll jump in. This is [senior administration official]. One of the recommendations -- that regulators will issue new rules and guidance to resolve confusion and close gaps related to existing financial regulations applications to cryptocurrency.

So that's a recognition that we see work needed in this space. And that's work that we intend -- obviously, regulators operate independently, but that's a clear recommendation coming out of the studies that were done.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Let's go to our next question, please.

Q: Hi, thank you so much for holding this. I wanted to follow up on Brady's question just now. We're hearing increasingly from a lot of crypto companies that the lack of clarity on how to register and provide disclosure is becoming a major issue for them in terms of, you know, figuring out how to legally operate within the U.S.

With the -- with the acknowledgement that the SEC and the CFTC are independent regulators, would the administration consider or does it plan to try and create a perhaps more clear definition of, you know, just where the line is between what could be deemed security and what could be deemed a commodity, and just -- you know, how that would apply in, you know, 2022 given how many cryptocurrency projects there are out there at this point?

MODERATOR: [Senior administration official], do you want to take that one?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: So I think --

MODERATOR: Go ahead.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Just going back to your original point being the SEC and the CFTC being independent agencies, we need to start with from there. The point of these reports was to assess, you know, the broader digital assets space in terms of risks and how they -- risks and potential benefits, and how they achieved inclusion, equity, privacy, national security, global leadership.

Some of those issues, the recommendation is for the agencies to clarify, review their rules, clarify, coordinate. And I think that their view is, as they have expressed -- and I'm just saying what they have said -- they have the necessary authorities. It is that many of the firms are not complying with their existing rules.

Q: Hi, thank you for doing the call. I'm actually a bit confused by the last two responses. Because on the one hand, it sounds like the administration is making some recommendations to agencies to provide more clarity to the industry, and especially since so much of what is in the kind of factsheet is focused on maintaining U.S. leadership and innovation. At the same time, you just said that the agencies have said that they have, you know, all the authorities they need and that these firms are just not in compliance. And those two things seem a little -- those two messages that we're hearing from you seem a bit at odds. So could you, I guess, give us a little more clarity on what exactly it is that the report says or recommends to agencies like the SEC and the CFTC?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The exact recommendation is that the agencies should continue to do -- so, for example, to issue guidance and rules to address current and emerging risks in products and services for consumers, investors, and businesses. And agencies should work collaboratively to promote consistent and comprehensive oversight.

I think you're pointing to a tension which is that this is a new and very rapidly developing product space, and we -- it needs to -- regulations need to be able to adjust to these new products and activities that are being offered. So I don't really think there is a tension. It's just the nature of the development of this technology -- the rapid development of the technology.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Hi, this is [senior administration official]. So I'll jump in, you know, to the question you asked. So there were two sets of recommendations.

The first one, building on [senior administration official]'s comments, were that financial regulators -- like the SEC and CFTC, as well as law enforcement agencies -- should redouble their investigations and enforcement actions against illicit, fraudulent, or deceptive digital asset practices under their jurisdictions, as they already have the mandate to do. This includes scaling-up people, training, and technological capacity like blockchain analysis capabilities. And the CFPB and FTC will do the same with their response to and investigations of consumer complaints.

And in addition -- building on that, we ask that agencies -- the recommendation was that agencies pursue initiatives to promote consumer educational literacy about digital assets. And the Financial Literacy and Education Commission will coordinate those efforts.

A second set of recommendations were that regulators will issue new rules and guidance to resolve confusion and close gaps related to existing financial regulations applications to cryptocurrency.

But what's an overriding piece and the sum takeaway is that until now the approach to digital assets has been very much an agency-by-agency approach.

Now the White House is saying, the President's direction is that we bring the various goals we have here -- around climate and environment, international engagement, illicit finance, financial stability, consumer protection, and domestic innovation -- and integrate the recommendations, which in some cases are competing, so that we have a holistic approach to digital assets, along with working with the Hill closely -- as we are -- to ensure that we're working that arm in arm for the Hill's independent opportunity to legislate with what can be done under executive authority, or by agencies pursuing digital assets under existing authorities for financial tools but with updates to the way they approach it because they often require, frankly, training and capabilities within government to do that, that may not already be in place or may need to be augmented.

MODERATOR: Thank you both. We have time for just one more question. So could we do our last question, please?

Q: Yeah, this last question is going to be a bit anticlimactic compared to the other ones. The readout that we got mentions FedNow and the potential utility of FedNow as an instantaneous, 24/7 interbank clearing system. I'm wondering to what extent the administration views this as something that could address many of the needs that a CBDC might meet or might address? I know that there are some folks at the Fed who have made that point in the past.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: So for the FedNow or instant payment system is clearly a technological development that can make the payment system faster and cheaper, more efficient, and could -- by lowering costs -- address some of the financial inclusion considerations that are important for -- under this EO and for this administration.

A CBDC is somewhat -- is different in the sense of yes, it is also a payment mechanism; it is money. But it's also, you know, the -- it's a liability -- a direct liability of the central bank. So it has -- it is -- you would choose a CBDC not only for the purposes of making payments more efficient, but for a number of other reasons.

And one could imagine a system where you would have instant payments and a CBDC. They don't have to be substitutes, but they both can improve a payment system. But the CBDC has other attributes and potentially different sets of risks that need to be considered, which is why this sort of recommendation to continue to advance the research on a CBDC.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Hi, I'll make a few comments to build on that. You know, to the question Chris asked earlier regarding what is the value-add of cryptocurrencies and, in this case specifically, of the CBDC, and potentially could be faster settlements, particularly faster cross-border settlements.

And FedNow -- and you saw the commitments that the Vice Chairman of the Fed recently rolled out for spring of 2023 -- makes real progress on moving to a more rapid settlement bank to bank within the U.S., which is critical. Right? That's a foundational step.

So even as we continue to pursue the research and technology -- the R&D around a CBDC, we make progress in parallel with the FedNow rollout. And one of the key attributes of that, which is more rapid settlement: We participate in pilots with some of our international partners and what that might look like from a global perspective as well.

Thank you.

MODERATOR: All right. Thank you so much. Any other last thoughts from our speakers on the call?

Okay, great. Well, thank you, everyone, for joining us today.

As a reminder, this entire call -- both the on-the-record and on-background portion -- is under embargo. The embargo will lift tomorrow, Friday, September 16th, 6:00 a.m. Eastern.

If you did not receive our factsheet, please let me know and we'll make sure to get that to you all. Thanks, everyone. Have a great day.

Joseph R. Biden, Background Press Call by Senior Administration Officials on the First-Ever Comprehensive Framework for Responsible Development of Digital Assets Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/357974

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