Biden signs executive order on digital assets

Biden signs executive order on digital assets

US to assess benefits of digital dollar.

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Bitcoin surged after US President Joe Biden signed an executive order that requires  government agencies to assess the benefits and risks of creating a central bank digital dollar and other cryptocurrency issues.

The executive order potentially expands the adoption of virtual currencies in the US financial system.

Biden's order will require the Treasury Department, the Commerce Department and other key agencies to prepare reports on "the future of money" and the role cryptocurrencies will play.

"The market has clearly been heartened by talk of supporting responsible innovation and a constructive approach to regulating the evolving digital token economy," Bitfinex Trading team said in a note.

The White House last year said it was considering wide-ranging oversight of the cryptocurrency market - including an executive order - to deal with the growing threat of ransomware and other cybercrime.

Bitcoin rose nine percent to US$42,260, on track for its biggest gain since February 28, while smaller peer ether, the coin linked to the Ethereum blockchain network, added 6.2 percent to US$2737, also set for its best day this month.

"We don't want to see too many regulations too fast – we want regulations but we want a steady hand doing it. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will be the leader in my opinion on (global) regulations," said Ed Hindi, chief investment officer at Switzerland-based Tyr Capital Partners.

US exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tracking bitcoin futures that gained regulatory approval late last year also jumped. ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF and Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF surged 9.6 precent and 9.7 percent, respectively, in early trading.

US crypto miners that act as a proxy for moves in digital coins also advanced.

Riot Blockchain soared 10.6 percent and Marathon Digital Holdings surged 11.3 percent, while crypto exchange Coinbase Global added 8.2 percent.

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