On March 9, United States President Joe Biden issued a quite comprehensive executive order that directs no less than two dozen cabinet members, departments and agencies in the government to study the benefits and detriments of blockchain technology for various aspects of the American economy. There has been a considerable amount already written about the implications of the executive order. I will add to this discourse and also offer some predictions, which few have done, on what the industry might expect to arise from the various governmental studies and reports over the next year.
Powers On… is a monthly opinion column from Marc Powers, who spent much of his 40-year legal career working with complex securities-related cases in the United States after a stint with the SEC. He is now an adjunct professor at Florida International University College of Law, where he teaches a course on “Blockchain & the Law.”
President Biden issued his executive order in a surprising act of executive power. No one quite expected it to occur the way it did, with most thinking that legislative action would be proposed sometime this year. I do not recall reading anywhere that an executive order, particularly without legislative action, would be proposed. Rather, our president instantly outtrumped — pardon the poorly crafted pun — former Vice President Al Gore, who under President Bill Clinton in the 1990s became a point man in the administration’s adoption and support of the internet. By the very act of issuing the executive order, President Biden will forever be recognized as the U.S. president who materially advanced the technology and its various use cases.
An overarching theme running through the executive order is the direction that various government departments and agencies coordinate, and that they do so in a relatively tight time frame by way of presenting reports. The president even ordered that each of the various governmental bodies investigate specific topics to be covered in the report. For…