The White House Science Office is asking for comment on its digital asset research agenda

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The administration of US President Joe Biden continues to develop the National Digital Assets Research and Development Agenda. In a January 26 request for information (RFI) and prefaced by the Federal Register, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is inviting comments to help it identify agenda priorities. Individuals and organizations can submit comments of up to 10 pages by March 23.

The White House announced the creation of the agenda in September, following the unveiling of the “first-ever” comprehensive framework for responsible digital asset development. The new agenda is part of the wave of crypto-related research activity initiated by the president’s executive order, “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets,” issued in March.

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The RFI said the agenda aimed to “shape a government-wide 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 “jump-start basic research”. It stated:

“Research and development (R&D) in this area has often been conducted in a fragmented manner, with limited attention to the broader implications, applications and downside risks to the underlying innovations. […] A more comprehensive R&D approach would provide concrete areas of focus for achieving a holistic vision of a digital asset ecosystem that embodies democratic values ​​and other key priorities.”

With the passage of the Chips and Science Act in August, a blockchain specialist position was added to the OSTP. The agency has researched and reported on the effects of digital assets on the environment as part of its mandate and has prepared a study on the central bank’s design options for digital currencies as part of its ongoing and as-yet-unclear consideration of a US digital dollar. .

Reactions to Biden’s expanded framework ranged from lukewarm praise to outright disappointment.

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