Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

On Monday, September 21, 2020, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued an interpretive letter on the authority of national banks and federal savings associations to hold stablecoin reserves. That same day, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology issued a statement on the OCC’s interpretive letter. While not an official joint statement, the federal agencies were clearly aligned as FinHub’s statement on the OCC Interpretive Letter was posted on its website before the OCC published its letter.
Continue Reading OCC and SEC’s FinHub Issue Guidance on Stablecoins

As a show of continued interest in the development of cryptoasset solutions, Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, recently sent a letter to Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks. Chairman Crapo’s letter requested an update on findings of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and information regarding next steps the OCC intends to take with respect to blockchain and distributed ledger technology.
Continue Reading Senate Banking Committee Shows Continued Interest in Cryptoassets

On July 22, 2020, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency published an interpretive letter clarifying the authority of national banks to provide cryptocurrency custody services for customers. This latest guidance is just one of many recent developments coming out of the OCC focused on modernizing the regulatory framework at the national level. 
Continue Reading OCC Releases Guidance on the Authority of National Banks to Provide Cryptocurrency Custody Services

Last week, the Office of the Comptroller of Currency, the primary federal regulator of national banks, issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking relating to the regulation of digital activities in banking, and in particular their activities involving cryptocurrency and distributed ledger technology.
Continue Reading OCC Seeks Comment on Cryptocurrency and Distributed Ledger Technology

On February 20, 2020, the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced a Bank Secrecy Act enforcement action against a federal savings bank (Bank). This is one of the first, if not the first, public enforcement actions against a bank related to banking cryptocurrency-related operations. Banks that currently provide banking services to cryptocurrency-related companies, or are considering providing banking services to such companies in the future, should carefully review this enforcement action and consider where the quality of the bank’s AML compliance program is commensurate with these high-risk customers.
Continue Reading OCC Announces Crypto Enforcement Action