On January 13, 2021, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) conditionally approved a national bank charter for Anchorage Digital Bank NA, paving the way for the first national crypto bank. It was only last summer that the OCC announced that national banks could custody digital assets. At that time, Anchorage Trust Co. was offering digital asset custody services in several states under state-based regulation. After meeting several conditions to approval outlined by the OCC, Anchorage will be able to operate nationwide under the oversight of a single regulator. OCC oversight can be onerous, however, with strict capital, liquidity, and risk management requirements. Bitcoin was up more than 10% on the news.
The landmark news for Anchorage came the same day that Brian Brooks, the Acting Comptroller of the Currency, announced he was stepping down. In only eight months running the OCC, Brooks was instrumental in pushing the federal regulator to be more of a facilitator in the crypto space. The decision to permit national banks to custody digital assets came soon after he took over. And as one of his last acts, the agency recognized that national banks can use stablecoins and distributed ledgers to conduct payment activities.
GAO Releases Report on Use of Virtual Currencies to Facilitate Trafficking
Blockchain Law Center | (01/11/2022)
Annual Banking Report Predicts Increased Crypto Services in 2022
Blockchain Law Center | (12/20/2021)
Recent House Financial Services Committee Hearing: "Digital Assets and the Future of Finance: Understanding the Challenges and Benefits of Financial Innovation in the United States"
Blockchain Law Center | (12/10/2021)
OCC Releases Semiannual Risk Perspective
Blockchain Law Center | (12/07/2021)
Interagency Joint Statement on Crypto-Asset Policy and OCC Interpretive Letter Released the Same Day
Blockchain Law Center | (11/24/2021)
About Blockchain Law Center
Blockchain technology utilizes a distributed digital ledger to record and track information, and can be leveraged to gain transparency and certainty in transactions ranging from cryptocurrency to supply chain tracking. This blog provides information on the legal developments surrounding implementation of blockchain technology, with an initial focus on the financial services sector.