On April 7th Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen delivered remarks on digital assets policy, innovation, and regulation at American University. Consistent with President Biden’s recent Executive Order, Secretary Yellen pointed out the need to focus on the opportunities that digital assets bring, as well as the potential risks. To that end, she mentioned policy objectives of the Executive Order, such as protecting consumers, investors, and businesses; safeguarding financial stability from systemic risk; and the mitigation of national security risks.
What was most interesting and encouraging were the five lessons she says should be considered while exploring new technologies. It’s interesting that she referenced learning from the mistakes of the 2007 Financial Crisis and encouraging how she prioritized considering the impacts on the underbanked and those with lower incomes. In particular, she states in Lesson 2 that “When regulation fails to keep pace with innovation, vulnerable people often suffer the greatest harm”.