Major US Banking Regulators Finish “Policy Print” and Release 2022 Crypto Roadmap


Top US banking regulator said on Tuesday that banks must seek and obtain written permission from their bank supervisors before engaging in cryptocurrencies.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said that before taking on activities like providing custody services for crypto assets, banks must demonstrate they have appropriate risk management tools.

“I said the next few years will be the most important in the history of crypto policy,” commented Jake Chervinsky, head of Policy Blockchain Association. “Here's proof: the major US banking regulators just finished a crypto “policy sprint” & say 2022 will be a big year. Get ready.”

On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and OCC released a joint statement, saying that they see the potential opportunities presented by the emerging crypto asset sector, but at the same time, they recognize the risks for banking organizations, their customers, and the overall financial system.

To provide clarity, the agencies recently conducted a series of inter-agency “policy sprints” focused on crypto and are now providing a roadmap of future planned work.

The focus of the sprint work included developing a commonly understood vocabulary, identifying and assessing key risks, including considering legal permissibility related to potential crypto activities conducted by banking organizations, and analyzing the applicability of existing regulations and guidance.

The staff also reviewed and analyzed activities banks may be interested in, such as crypto asset custody, facilitation of customer purchases and sales of crypto, loans collateralized by crypto, activities involving payments and stablecoins, and those that may result in the holding of crypto on a banking organization’s balance sheet.

The agencies said they would also evaluate the application of capital and liquidity standards to crypto for US banks. In addition, they will continue to engage with the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and other relevant authorities.

“Based on this preliminary and foundational staff-level work, the agencies have identified a number of areas where additional public clarity is warranted.”

As a result, the agencies have developed this roadmap for cryptocurrencies. Throughout 2022, they plan to provide greater clarity on whether certain crypto-related activities conducted by banks are permissible, compliance with existing laws and regulations, and expectations for safety and soundness.

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