The US Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Office of Foreign Exchange Control (OCC) have released a joint statement that will soon publish rules and regulations regarding the use of cryptocurrencies by banks in 2022.
The authorities clarify that the rules will affect the entire range of actions that banks can carry out in the cryptocurrency sector: storage of digital assets, transferring them to clients, issuing their own stablecoins (cryptocurrencies, the value of which is tied to a fiat currency, for example, the US dollar), as well as accepting cryptocurrencies in as collateral. The purpose of this set of rules is to ensure consumer protection and the responsibility of banks. In addition, it is an attempt to protect against possible abuse in the financial system.
The OCC has taken some steps in this direction – the other day the Office published a letter explaining the decisions taken during 2020 and early 2021 in relation to the cryptocurrency sector. Earlier, the department said that banks are allowed to store cryptocurrencies for clients, as well as assets that provide stablecoins. Banks were also allowed to use stablecoins and act as nodes on blockchain networks. However, they must prove that they can engage in such activities safely and responsibly.
A joint statement from the departments was released in connection with the fact that some cryptocurrency companies were arguing with regulators about what legal classifications their products fall under. Coinbase recently canceled its lending program after a public discussion with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over whether the company could be considered a securities trading company and therefore subject to rigorous legal scrutiny. The Treasury also proposed introducing an obligation to report large cryptocurrency transactions to the IRS and asked Congress to consider regulating stablecoins.