On June 4th, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced an invitation to collaborate to banks and crypto firms.
Crypto and Banks Together
As part of the interaction process, the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking put a set of questions to banks and industry leaders. In particular, “what activities cryptocurrencies or cryptoassets are financial services companies or bank customers engaged in and what are the barriers or obstacles to further adoption of crypto-related activities in the banking industry?”.
According to Brian Brooks, administrator of the federal banking system and OCC head officer, today’s announcement is the best effort to connect the finance and crypto industries and also to diminish the differences between them, as previously reported by Cointelegraph. Brooks also expressed his prediction for the office’s learning: “Ways the cryptocurrency regime needs banking services, ways that they need to transact across the bank rails, etc. So we have affirmatively come out and said, give us information about what crypto needs from banking and banking needs from crypto, because we want to really do something in that space.”
Crypto Veteran Brooks’ first week in office
In the US Treasury, OCC is the bank’s core regulator. The recent announcement is part of a flurry of activity since Brooks assumed control at the office earlier this week.
In March he was a chief legal officer in the OCC from Coinbase, where his interest in crypto may be clarified. Looking ahead, Cointelegraph said it would be a critical objective to figure out the role of banks in guarding and the place where stable coins fit: “The OCC, quickly under my watch, will get a position together as to what do we think about national banks as appropriate custodians for cryptocurrency. We don’t have a view on that and I don’t want to prejudge that but it is certainly an interest of mine from my past life that we need to come to ground on that. And then there’s the question of what do we think about stablecoins? Are stable coins equivalent to currency or are the cash equivalents? Can they be held by banks in an awesome format or if they’re held outside of a bank? Is that covered by banking regulations?”
Blockchain and the Bank
Crypto was used gradually by policymakers in the U.S. and overseas. Many have viewed Brooks’ induction at the OCC as a stronger confidence in the federal government’s arsenal of onboarding crypto capability. Only in March, weeks prior to the hire, the Treasury consulted with cryptographic representatives to learn more.