The United States Department of the Treasury, through the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), issued an authorization on Monday for national banks and savings associations to hold deposits or reserves to issuers of stablecoins.
The agency published a letter explaining that banks can manage the receipt on behalf of clients who “issue certain stablecoins.” At release Stablecoins are noted to be cryptocurrencies backed by fiat money such as the United States dollar or other foreign currency. At another point, it is highlighted that the service is applied “in situations in which the coins are kept in custodian purses”.
From the foregoing it follows that the reservation service will be limited to a single type of stablecoin such as Tether, TrueUSD or USD Coin, for example, which have a 1: 1 parity with the dollar, and do not include other collateralized or non collateralized tokens. The text specifies that it is an opinion that “provides greater regulatory certainty for banks in the federal system to provide these services to their clients in a safe and robust manner.”
As the OCC made its point of view public, the office’s chief counsel, Jonathan Gould, released a paper interpretive on the facts. A similar statement was also given to know by the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States (SEC) in which it states its position on the measure.
In his message, Gould states that cryptocurrencies and stablecoins “are an evolving technology” and that banks can offer services, including companies in the Bitcoin ecosystem, “as long as they effectively manage risks and comply with applicable legislation, including relating to the Law on Banking Services and the fight against money laundering ”.
The SEC’s Fintech staff also issued an interpretive letter. It mentions that market participants can structure and sell a digital asset in such a way that it does not constitute a security and that involves registration, reporting and other requirements of federal securities laws.
The SEC put the highlight on the definitions and terminologies used to describe a digital asset, which it is “they may not necessarily coincide with the way in which an asset of this type is defined”. The staff invited the parties that make life in the market to analyze potential new assets to ensure that they comply with current regulations. It is the intention of the SEC to make the necessary inquiries before issuing any asset.
Stablecoins continue to gain space within the traditional financial system. CriptoNoticias reported in July this year that stablecoins were leading the cryptocurrency market, according to an eToro report.
The letters from the OCC and the SEC come more than a month after a group of U.S. banks requested a regulatory framework for offer services with cryptocurrencies. In August, it was reported that Axos Bank, PNC Bank and Bancorp, among 85 other financial entities, participated in a call by the OCC to determine a formula for crypto assets such as bitcoin to be introduced in the local financial sector.