The Dept. of Commerce has 17 questions to help develop a crypto framework

The DoC’s series of 17 questions is set to be published on May 19 and asks for comments from the public that will inform the department’s creation of a regulatory framework for crypto businesses.

The US Department of Commerce is calling for submissions on how it can establish a framework that will bolster American economic competitiveness in digital assets including crypto and stablecoins.

The Department of Commerce (DoC) intends on publishing a series of 17 questions in a request for comment through the International Trade Administration. The request will be published in the Federal Register on May 19.

The questions pertain to the DoC’s efforts to develop a framework for challenges to the growth of American economics regarding digital assets, as requested by President Joe Biden’s Executive Order.

The unpublished request for comment from the Department of Commerce.

The questions will cover a range of topics related to crypto businesses in the US such as views on how regulations can enhance competitiveness and what obstacles business owners currently face. It will also cover digital asset mining, likely in relations to Bitcoin and Ethereum. One asks:

“What, if any, is the future role of digital assets mining in the U.S. digital assets sector? In what ways can the U.S. government and U.S. companies drive competitive, sustainable (for the environment and energy consumption) development of digital assets?”

The US is currently the largest Bitcoin mining country by producing 37.84% of the world’s hash power as of January, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index. By that metric, it appears there are many businesses that believe in the future of digital asset mining.

Among those miners, demand for sustainable energy sources and carbon neutrality is on the rise. Investors like Kevin O’Leary, who are driving demand for sustainable mining, told Cointelegraph on May 10 that the crypto industry is “at an interesting inflection point” when it comes to environmental conscientiousness.

Although the Federal Reserve Board reiterated in its May 9 Financial Stability Report that it currently has no plan to develop a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), one of the questions from the DoC will ask about the potential impact of a CBDC on business.

The DoC will also ask whether digital assets can help unbanked Americans gain access to the financial tools they may need but cannot get through traditional means. Banking the unbanked has long been a use case that crypto industry insiders boast as a natural fit for the technology.

“What role can the Federal government and the digital assets sector play to ensure that under-served Americans can benefit from the increased commercial availability of digital assets?”

The request for public comment will inform the DoC’s thinking in making the framework for an American digital asset business regulatory framework. This early, open approach towards the DoC’s efforts reflects Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo’s March 9 statement in response to President Biden’s Executive Order. She said her department would promote “the resilience of the U.S. financial system” by working with digital assets industry partners to “mitigate risks for the businesses and individuals who rely on it.”

Related: US agencies warn against the influx of North Koreans in IT and crypto jobs online

If the questions are published on May 19 as expected, comments will be accepted through July 5 and can be sent to digitalassets@trade.gov.

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