On May 19, the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration issued a Request for Comment (RFC), seeking public input on the development of a framework for driving economic competitiveness and leadership in, and leveraging of, digital asset technologies as part of reinforcing U.S. leadership in the global financial system. This RFC is in response to President Biden’s March 9 Executive Order , “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets,” which outlines the first U.S. comprehensive federal digital asset strategy, and tasked Commerce to work “across the U.S. Government” to establish this framework.

In its RFC, Commerce invites input on any matter relevant to its development of the framework, and it seeks comments on 17 specific questions about the global competitiveness of U.S. digital asset businesses, comparisons to traditional financial services and financial inclusion considerations, as well as technological considerations. Some of the specific questions include:

  • What are the features of U.S.-based digital asset businesses (e.g., administrators, operators, validators, and other key stakeholder roles in the function of digital assets, as well as the exchanges, brokers, and custodians used to trade and store them) that currently underpin their competitiveness in a global market?
  • What obstacles do U.S. digital asset businesses face when competing globally?
  • How does the current U.S. regulatory landscape affect U.S. digital asset businesses’ global competitiveness?
  • What, if any, is the future role of digital assets mining in the U.S. digital assets sector?
  • What impact, if any, will global deployment of central bank digital currencies (CBDC) have on the U.S. digital assets sector?
  • What factors and conditions, if any, that have driven and sustained the global leadership of U.S.-based legacy financial institutions will foster the same leadership for U.S. digital asset businesses?
  • Can digital assets improve international payments (including trade and remittances) and improve trade finance access?
  • How do digital assets compare to other initiatives in payments, such as the Federal Reserve’s FedNow?
  • What role can the federal government and the digital assets sector play to ensure that underserved Americans can benefit from the increased commercial availability of digital assets?
  • To what extent do new standards for digital assets and their underlying technologies need to be maintained or developed, for instance those related to custody, identity, security, privacy, and interoperability?

Written comments must be received by July 5, 2022.