Believe it or not, Washington is offering to help the crypto revolution in a reasonable” manner and is asking for public comments. In March 2022, President Biden signed Executive Order 14067, Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets.”  This outlines U.S. digital asset principles in broad general terms. While offering nothing specific, certain sections deal with actions to limit illicit finance and associated national security risk and read as follows:

“Digital assets have facilitated sophisticated cybercrime-related financial networks and activity, including through ransomware activity. The growing use of digital assets in financial activity heightens risks of crimes such as money laundering, terrorist and proliferation financing, fraud and theft schemes, and corruption. These illicit activities highlight the need for ongoing scrutiny of the use of digital assets, the extent to which technological innovation may impact such activities, and the exploration of opportunities to mitigate these risks through regulation, supervision, public-private engagement, oversight, and law enforcement.”

The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of National Intelligence, and the heads of other relevant agencies shall develop a coordinated action plan based on the strategys conclusions for mitigating the digital-asset-related illicit finance and national security risks addressed in the updated strategy.”

The Request for Public Comment addresses 23 questions, divided into five categories:

1.           Illicit Finance Risk

2.           AML/CFT Regulations and Supervision

3.           Global Implementation

4.           Private Sector Engagement and AML/CFT Solutions

5.           Central Bank Digital Currencies

A link to the RFC is here:

The categories and questions posed by Treasury are not the problems. The problem is Congress inability to set clear legislative policy. Until Congress determines national policy, Yoonify and all other legitimate developers have policy by law enforcement. That is the problem: We need a clear policy from Congress.

Nevertheless, lets take a look at the five categories. 

On your behalf, Ill say to Treasury, “…anything illegal in traditional finance should be, or already is, illegal in digital assets.” All illicit activity possible in traditional finance can be committed using digital assets. Rug pulls, pump and dump, and Ponzi schemes, are all possible in conventional finance and digital assets. Using advanced technology to steal makes no difference in criminality.  Thieves, fraudsters and crooks should be investigated, prosecuted and incarcerated. Yoonify strongly supports honest commerce. We want the government to find and remove illicit digital asset activity immediately. We also say let real developers build. 

We also believe that global coordination can reduce regulatory arbitrage.

In other words, fraudsters and criminals are shopping for the government regulator most likely to permit illicit activities.

Moreover, digital assets are borderless; hence, global coordination could offer benefits. Lastly, global coordination could facilitate international regulatory compliance. And for those reasons, we say excellent idea! However, trying to corral 195 nations into our vision of digital assets regulation will be a challenge, to put it mildly. Moreover, coordinating a global strategy assumes we have one, which is not the case. 

On to category four, regarding private sector participation. Lets take the case of banks, given that they are the most common on-ramp onto crypto. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) regulate banks for safety and soundness. Their annual examinations cover every type of risk, including illicit finance. Visit the FRBs instructions to bank examiners ( regarding the treatment of digital assets, and you will conclude that the private sector is already participating. Nevertheless, we appreciate the point, recognizing that the private sector must be a critical ally, and welcome the opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to fair and open markets free of criminals. 

In fact, we believe that tokenizing assets using blockchain technology, will make audits faster, easier, and more accurate, and that tokenization of assets is a great leap forward in reducing illicit activity (which is why we have adopted it as our business model and mission).  It is also our belief that Treasury will consider incorporating aspects of public blockchains, e.g., transparent, immutable, permission-less, and distributed ledger technology. 

Time for the big reveal: Treasury did manage to ask the obvious—what about our privacy? However, Treasury asked without much enthusiasm. Nevertheless, Treasury raised essential issues and kick-started a critical discussion. Treasurys willingness to engage the American people and our industry with excellent questions is a noble start. Treasurys RFC separates America from other governments who wouldnt consider to ask its citizens. As former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once said,there are knowns, unknowns, and unknown unknowns.” Treasury understands Rumsfelds logic, is humble enough to acknowledge that it does not have all the answers, and is smart enough to know our industry is an ally, not an adversary.   We urge advisors (on behalf of themselves and their clients) to join Yoonify, and participate in this important, timely discussion.

Rohit Tandon is CEO and co-founder of Yoonify (, a blockchain-based wealthtech company, headquartered in San Diego, CA. He can be reached for comments or inquiries at [email protected].