The United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) published a post on its official website requesting the public to comment on the revision of regulations pertaining to digital activities.
OCC’s Latest Interest In Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies have come a long way since their origin. While some express utmost hate towards digital assets, a few others have started to embrace it. Many prominent cryptocurrencies as well as blockchain-related projects have been leaving a significant impact on the market, further attracting several people into the industry. As the adoption numbers increase, crime pertaining to it also does. Hence regulators have been probing about the same. Certain governments have imposed harsh regulations and have even banned the use of it. However, a few others have been looking into formulating crypto-friendly regulations.
The United States’ financial watchdogs have been vocal regarding their opinion about cryptocurrencies, particularly Facebook’s Libra. However, the federal banking system administrator, the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) seems to be taking a keen interest in cryptocurrencies.
On its official website, the OCC requested feedbacks and comments on regulating cryptocurrencies. The OCC reportedly issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) and an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) in order to receive comments from the public to revise its rules concerning digital activities of national banks as well as the federal savings associations.
Further, the OCC elaborated on the reason behind doing so. The OCC wrote,
“The NPR is part of the OCC’s continual effort to modernize its rules and remove unnecessary requirements to relieve banks of unnecessary burden, encouraging economic opportunity and promoting the safe, sound, and fair operation of the federal banking system. The ANPR is part of the agency’s effort to support the evolution of the federal banking system and its ability to meet the needs of the consumers, businesses, and communities it serves.”
With regard to cryptocurrencies, the OCC highlighted,
Notably, the Acting Comptroller of the OCC, Brian Brooks had recently resigned from a prominent cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase. Brooks served as the Chief Legal Officer prior to joining the OCC. While onboarding Brooks, the Treasury Secretary Steven T.Mnuchin said,
“I look forward to working with him to ensure the stability of our financial system and its ability to foster greater economic growth for the benefit of all Americans.”
On 29 May 2020, the OCC welcomed Brooks as the head of the office.
Several have been speculating that OCC’s latest move could have been the influence of Brooks’ cryptocurrency background.