Stablecoins are in the spotlight – The OCC (US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) has just granted national banks the right to hold the reserve funds that certain stablecoins are backed by.
The US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is the US body responsible for regulating the banking industry. In his latest interpretive letter, he grants the right to national banks to hold reserve funds for stablecoins. The letter says:
“As the OCC recently reaffirmed, national banks may provide permissible banking services to any lawful business they choose, including cryptocurrency businesses, so long as they effectively manage the risks and comply with applicable law, including those relating to the [Bank Secrecy Act] and anti-money laundering.”
National banks had already obtained authorization to offer cryptocurrency custody services for firms in the sector.
This directive is confirmed by the FinHub of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission). This is the SEC unit dedicated (among others) to digital assets.
Obviously, they must act with caution:
“A bank may also enter into appropriate contractual agreements with a stablecoin issuer governing the terms and conditions of the
services that the bank provides to the issuer.2″
Only asset- backed stablecoins with a 1: 1 ratio are affected. Thus, this authorization does not apply to stablecoins backed by a currency bundle. Libra therefore still does not have the green light for its activities.
The OCC appears committed to supporting the development of the sector. This is no doubt thanks to Brian Brooks, the former Head of the Legal Department at Coinbase. The latter had taken the head of the agency dependent on the Department of the Treasury of the United States last March.