US Treasury to Educate Public on Risks of Crypto Investing

Updated by Geraint Price
In Brief
  • The Treasury is launching a crypto educational program.
  • The campaign’s main target is the people who have limited access to typical financial services.
  • Reports from CNBC and Bloomberg show that the U.S. president will sign an executive order on crypto this week.
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The US Treasury has revealed plans to launch a crypto promotional campaign. The Treasury’s Financial Literacy Education Commission wants to educate the public on the risks of investing in the asset class.

The department will create educational content to familiarize the public with the diversity of digital assets and how they differ from other forms of payments.

According to Nellie Liang, US Treasury Undersecretary for Domestic Finance, the target group for this campaign is the people that have limited access to mainstream financial services.

“We’re hearing more and more about investors and households who are purchasing crypto assets, and we recognize the complexity of how some of these assets operate,” she told Reuters.

“It felt like this is an area also where more education [and] more awareness could be helpful.”

US regulators are concerned with the rise of cryptocurrencies claiming they “could pose risks to the financial system as they [digital currencies] grow in popularity.”

Total value of crypto market reached $3 trillion last year

According to the University of Chicago, the total value of crypto hit $3tr last year, with 14% of Americans investing in the asset class. 

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is among the 20 different agencies of the Treasury’s educational department. SEC Chair Gary Gensler, however, called the crypto industry the “wild west” of the economy last year.

“We’re just trying to raise awareness without trying to stamp out new technology and new innovation,” Liang said.

President Joe Biden is working on an executive order detailing the government’s plans for the industry.

According to CNBC and Bloomberg, Biden wants to assign a group of federal agencies to research more about digital currencies.

“The long-awaited Biden executive order on cryptocurrencies — outlining the admin’s view of digital assets and directing a further study of economic, regulatory, and national security issues is finally expected to be signed by the president this week,” said Jennifer Epstein, Bloomberg’s White House reporter. 

Although the US Federal Reserve has been studying the use cases and risks of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), the agency has yet to comment publicly. 

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