Federally Chartered Banks and Thrifts May Engage in Certain Stablecoin Activities

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Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Press Release |  Sep 21, 2020

Stablecoins   - Federally Chartered Banks and Thrifts May Engage in Certain Stablecoin ActivitiesWASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today published a letter clarifying national banks' and federal savings associations' authority to hold "reserves" on behalf of customers who issue certain stablecoins.

Stablecoins refer to cryptocurrency backed by an asset such as a fiat currency, including U.S. dollars or other foreign currency.

"National banks and federal savings associations currently engage in stablecoin-related activities involving billions of dollars each day," Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian P. Brooks said. "This opinion provides greater regulatory certainty for banks within the federal banking system to provide those client services in a safe and sound manner."

See: 

Stablecoins: Experience the Stability

Visa’s digital dollar concept opens a door to central bank currencies

FFCON20 Video: Future of CBDCs, Digital Assets and Trading

Virtual Panel via Toronto Centre (Apr 17): Using Stable Coins to Facilitate Financial Stability and Inclusion Under Unprecedented Times

The letter responds to questions regarding the application of stablecoin-related bank activities. It concludes national banks and federal savings associations may hold "reserves" on behalf of customers who issue stablecoins, in situations where the coins are held in hosted wallets. The letter addresses the use of stablecoins backed by a single fiat currency on a one-to-one basis where the bank verifies at least daily that reserve account balances meet or exceed the number of the issuer's outstanding stablecoins.

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