The weeklong Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit began on November 11 in San Francisco. While the anticipated highlight is the meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Ping on November 15, the finance ministers’ gathering is also of primary importance, given the organisation’s primary focus on the regional economy.
At the meeting on November 13, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in her speech that the finance ministers would discuss “priority areas [that] are oriented toward the long-term,” with a significant focus on sustainability. Sessions targeting supply-side economics and digital assets will also be discussed as part of the summit. Yellen mentioned unsupported crypto assets, stablecoin, and central bank digital currency specifically.
“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,” Yellen said. She also stated:
“I look forward to hearing from 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.”
Yellen met with top Chinese economic official He Lifeng on two consecutive days, Nov. 9 and 10. Although cryptocurrency trading has been effectively banned in China since 2021, the country has participated in the development of central bank digital currency as a world-leading nation.
The viewpoints Yellen will encounter at the November 13 meeting may conflict with her stance, as the Biden administration is reckoned as not particularly supportive of cryptocurrencies, and Asia is widely regarded as leading blockchain development. Asian economies have made significant progress in the metaverse, cryptocurrency trading, and adoption.
APEC consists of 21 Pacific-region “economies” in Asia, North America, and South America. Membership is open to economies rather than countries to enable Hong Kong and Taiwan to join without controversy. Ripple was a diamond sponsor of the summit.