“Nobody’s Going to Ban Bitcoin,” says Comptroller of the Currency; ‘Clarity’ Coming in Early 2021


The acting Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Brian Brooks, said on Thursday that new regulations on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are coming soon.

Brooks appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” to talk about “clarity” on the leading cryptocurrency to be expected in the next six-to-eight weeks but made it very clear that “nobody’s going to ban bitcoin.”

So this is one thing out of the way, which some anti-bitcoiners like JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon try to blame their ignorance on.

“We’re very focused on getting this right. We’re very focused on not killing this,” Brooks said.

“And it’s equally important that we develop the networks behind bitcoin and other cryptos as it is that we prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.”

Brooks also cleared the air around potential regulation heightened by his former employer Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong last month. Armstrong took to Twitter to warn the crypto community that he had heard rumors that the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was working to regulate self-hosted crypto wallets before President Donald Trump’s term ends in January.

However, Brooks clarified, “I think you’re going to see a lot of good news for crypto before the end of the term.”

Adoption is too widespread & technology too important

Bitcoin has been on a tear recently, hitting a new all-time high this week, a price level not seen since the peak of the 2017 bull market.

According to Brooks, the upcoming rules and regulations “will make it easier for crypto investors to know how to invest, to know how institutions can be in the asset class, and those are the things driving prices at this point.”

In 2020, the largest cryptocurrency continues to see increased institutional adoption, with PayPal allowing users to buy and sell cryptos on its platform and legendary hedge fund managers like Paul Tudor Jones and Stanley Druckenmiller betting big on BTC. Brooks said,

“It may have been a bubble two years ago, but with more clarity, institutions that see this as a real thing are going to adopt at scale, which they’ve already started to do.”

As Brooks further shared, the regulators are also working on bringing more clarity around the nature of the assets and convey a “positive message.” Adding,

“Adoption is too widespread, the technology is too important, the need for the currency is too important for it to go away. I'm not too worried about that.”

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