APEC Finance Ministers to Discuss Crypto at San Francisco Meeting


The weeklong Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit officially began on September 9 in San Francisco. On Nov. 11, United States President Joe Biden and Chinese Leader Xi Ping will have a momentous meeting on the sidelines of the event. However, the focus of the organization is on the regional economy, so the finance ministers’ meeting is also of primary importance.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke at the finance ministers’ meeting on Nov. 13, discussing the thirteen priority areas that revolve around long-term sustainability. These topics include digital assets and supply-side economics, such as unbacked crypto assets, stablecoins, and central bank digital currency.

Yellen said: “Sharing insights and engaging with the private sector has enabled us to deepen our collective understanding of the tools that policymakers can use to facilitate the responsible development and use of digital assets. I look forward to hearing your perspectives on the long-term role that digital assets and blockchain technologies can play in our respective financial systems, as well as how your authorities plan to approach regulatory oversight of their development and use.”

He Lifeng, a Chinese economic official, also attended the meeting. Although cryptocurrency trading is effectively prohibited in China, the country has been a leader in the creation of digital currencies by the central bank since 2021. Yellen and Lifeng’s views may differ, causing a bit of tension at the 13th meeting.

The APEC Summit was sponsored by Ripple, a major diamond-level sponsor. APEC consists of 21 economies in the Pacific region, including Asian, North American, and South American countries, as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan. This inclusive membership provides a place at the table that is free of controversy.

Secretary Yellen expressed her gratitude for being the host of the APEC Finance ministers at the California Academy of Sciences. She said, “It’s personally meaningful to welcome them to the San Francisco Bay Area, which I consider a second home.”

The summit has been a great opportunity for the advancement of blockchain development in Asia, as metaverse adoption, trading, and cryptocurrency has seen significant progress. Nevertheless, the Biden administration has not been seen as being too favorable to crypto, so it will be interesting to see what comes out of the APEC Summit.

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