The stock prices of crypto-related companies have jumped as the broader market reacted positively to President Joe Biden’s long-awaited executive order requiring US federal agencies to create a regulatory framework for digital assets, as well as exploring a future digital dollar.
Coinbase (COIN) surged, up 10.5% at market close, while shares in Bitcoin-evangelist Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy (MSTR) posted a 6.4% gain, according to TradingView.
Blockchain-related exchanged-traded funds (ETFs) also enjoyed the markets’ renewed confidence in crypto, with ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) gaining 10% and Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BTF) closing up 10.3%.
Cryptocurrency mining companies enjoyed the largest gains with Riot Blockchain Inc. (RIOT) shares up 11.2% and Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. (MARA) rose 13.5% with Jefferies (JEF) analyst Jonathan Peterson, reportedly restoring his buy rating for MARA in a note to clients and stating that crypto miners are likely to gain now that the U.S Government is “more formally recognizing, engaging with and seemingly supporting” the digital asset industry.
While 10% swings are common in crypto, these are unusually volatile moves on traditional markets. And despite the past day’s increase, Coinbase is still down nearly 48% from it’s direct listing price in Apr. last year, while RIOT is in an even worse position, currently down 76% from it’s most recent high in Feb. 2021.
Aside from the immediate positive price action, the executive order was considered by most investors to be if not a net positive for the crypto industry, at least a lot less bad than had been feared. President Biden called the rise of digital assets, “an opportunity to reinforce American leadership in the global financial system and at the technological frontier”.
The order didn’t explicitly state what sort of regulatory measures could be expected, butthe overall sentiment from the US Federal government seemed constructive — meaning that the executive order will potentially work to expand the adoption of virtual currencies within the U.S. financial system.
This was further supported by the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen who said in a statement that legislation will aid consumers and businesses.
“President Biden’s historic executive order calls for a coordinated and comprehensive approach to digital asset policy,” Yellen said. “This approach will support responsible innovation that could result in substantial benefits for the nation, consumers and businesses.”
Minnesota Congressman, Tom Emmer provided an insightful breakdown of the areas that the executive order glossed over, warning his 48,000 Twitter followers that they have no reason to expect that the US government will prioritize policies for open, permissionless or private technology.
1) Decentralization is the Point: The EO doesn’t mention decentralization once. The disintermediation of our economy will enable all Americans, regardless of circumstance, to decide their futures, not a bank or Big Tech or the government.
— Tom Emmer (@RepTomEmmer) March 10, 2022
He added however the one of the most promising parts of the executive order was that it “doesn’t ask the SEC to weigh in. SEC Chair Gensler has spent the past year intimidating crypto innovators and entrepreneurs with his unproductive regulation by public statement and enforcement action. His input is not critical.”
Gensler weighed in on the news anyway, deciding to post his support for Biden’s regulatory efforts on Twitter.
Today, @POTUS signed an Executive Order on crypto-assets. I look forward to collaborating with colleagues across the government to achieve important public policy goals: protecting investors & consumers, guarding against illicit activity, & helping ensure financial stability.
— Gary Gensler (@GaryGensler) March 9, 2022
Gensler’s tweet was received with criticism from some in the cryptocurrency community on Twitter, given his oft expressed skepticism for the digital asset industry.
Ryan Selkis, the CEO of Messario Crypto, put Gensler directly in the crosshairs, claiming that Gensler’s goals have nothing to do with investor protection.
With any luck, you’ll be completely boxed out of meaningful input as your personal goals have nothing to do with investor protection, market stability or blocking illicit activity.
Fitting you say nothing about capital formation here.
Keep promoting CCP companies over crypto!
— Ryan Selkis (@twobitidiot) March 9, 2022
Zooming out, the overall share market rose on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 posting a 2.5% gain despite continued geopolitical tension in Eastern Europe.