The sprint team of U.S. regulators will define the rules for banks in the next year.
U.S. Regulators to Define Banks’ Crypto Roles
U.S. banking regulators will unite to define the role banks can play in the cryptocurrency market, a joint statement published Tuesday has revealed.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will clarify regulations on how banks can interact with digital assets in new guidelines due to be published sometime in 2022.
“The agencies have identified a number of areas where additional public clarity is warranted,” the statement read. “Throughout 2022, the agencies plan to provide greater clarity on whether certain activities related to crypto assets conducted by banking organizations are legally permissible, and expectations for safety and soundness, consumer protection, and compliance with existing laws and regulations.”
The statement mentioned several activities related to cryptocurrencies, including holding crypto assets on their balance sheets, issuing stablecoins, and whether banks can provide custodial services or crypto trading services on behalf of customers. The current regulations on crypto are opaque in the U.S. and many other parts of the world despite the growing demand for cryptocurrencies.
The sprint team has been planning how to tackle digital assets throughout this year. The latest update follows the FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams’ recent comments confirming that a team was developing a roadmap for holding crypto assets. “If we don’t bring this activity inside the banks, it is going to develop outside of the banks [and] federal regulators won’t be able to regulate it,” she said at the time.
The statement also said that it would provide clearer guidelines on whether regulated institutions can hold digital assets, something that’s become a more pertinent point as the space has drawn more attention in 2021. Many major companies and institutions have begun to take an interest in Bitcoin as it’s risen to new highs this year; notable institutional adopters include JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and BNY Mellon.