The White House Science office’s request for information seems to be the latest piece in the huge research agenda in President Biden’s executive order on digital asset development.
President Joe Biden’s administration is continuing to explain its National Digital Assets Research and Development Agenda. In its request for information (RFI) dated January 26 and previewed by the Federal Register, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is inviting comments to assist in identifying agenda priorities. People and organizations might submit comments of not more than ten pages in length by March 23.
The White House confirmed the development of the agenda in September among the big number of next steps after its unveiling of the ‘first-ever’ Comprehensive Framework for Responsible Development of Digital Assets.
In that context, the new agenda is part of the spate of crypto-related research activity initiated by the president’s Executive Order (EO) on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets that was issued in March.
The RFI stated that the agenda aimed to:
“Shape a whole-of-government effort” to develop digital assets and distributed ledger technology. It was also described as a means to “continue to support research that translates technological breakthroughs into market-ready products” and “kickstart fundamental research.”
“Research and development (R&D) in this space has often been conducted in a fragmented manner, with limited consideration for the broader implications, applications, and downside risks for the underlying innovations. […] A more comprehensive R&D approach would provide concrete areas of focus towards achieving a holistic vision of a digital assets ecosystem that embodies democratic values and other key priorities.”
Notably, a blockchain specialist position was added to the OSTP with the passage of the Chips and Science Act in August. The office has now examined and reported extensively on the impacts of digital assets on the environment as part of its EO mandate and prepared an exhaustive survey of central bank digital currency (CBDC) design options as part of the current and so far inconclusive consideration of a US digital dollar.
1/ A few points of context on the new White House Comprehensive Framework for Responsible Development of Digital Assets that was released this morning. (I'll share more later…) Policymaking is a process. It's complicated, slow, difficult work. But it matters. And it's moving.
— Tomicah Tillemann 🇺🇦🇺🇲 (@TomicahTD) September 16, 2022
This is perceived to be a reaction to Biden’s intensive infrastructure ranged from tepid praise to humiliating disappointment.