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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Yellen stresses importance of stablecoin regulatory framework

Federal Issues Bank Regulatory Digital Assets Fintech Department of Treasury FDIC OCC CFPB Stablecoins

Federal Issues

On June 30, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen discussed stablecoin risks during a meeting of principals representing the President’s Working Group (PWG) on Financial Markets in addition to the OCC, FDIC, and the CFPB, where she reiterated her call for a regulatory framework for stablecoins. Participants discussed developments since the release of a stablecoin report issued by the PWG, OCC, and FDIC last November (covered by InfoBytes here). The report noted that stablecoins may be more widely used in the future as a means of payment, which Yellen said at the time could increase “risks to users and the broader system.” The report also recommended that Congress promptly enact legislation to address the risks of payment stablecoins and ensure that payment stablecoins and payment stablecoin arrangements are subject to consistent and comprehensive federal oversight.

According to Treasury’s readout, Yellen “emphasized how recent events have underscored the urgent need to ensure that stablecoin arrangements are subject to a federal framework on a consistent and comprehensive basis” and “highlighted the need to continue to constructively engage in serious legislative efforts to promptly put in place a regulatory framework for stablecoins that would address current and future risks, such as those related to runs, safety and soundness, consumer protection, the payment system, and the concentration of economic power, while complementing existing authorities with respect to market integrity, investor protection, and illicit finance.” She also “commended the steps that individual agencies have taken within the scope of their mandates and authorities.”