Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC): All national banks associations’ authority to provide cryptocurrencies custody services

Recently, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) confirmed that it is granting licenses to all federal banks to manage cryptocurrencies; simultaneously providing cryptocurrency depository services to customers.

The future of the bank with cryptocurrencies is positive

This is information that can be said to bring a lot of skepticism for users because a digital wallet is a different type, utterly different from the depository of other kinds of assets.

However, in a letter of interpretation on this topic, OCC said:

“The OCC recognizes that, as the financial markets become increasingly technological, there will likely be an increasing need for banks and other service providers to leverage new technology and innovative ways to provide traditional services on behalf of customers.”

Accordingly, this model will be applied to national banks and federal savings associations of all sizes.

The Acting Comptroller of the Currency, Brian Brooks, also agreed with this development. According to him, it is part of modernizing banking in the US.

He said:

“From safe-deposit boxes to virtual vaults, we must ensure banks can meet the financial services needs of their customers today.”


The Acting Comptroller of the Currency, Brian Brooks

The OCC letter further stated that the bank deposited the assets of cryptocurrency assets depending on their access to the digital wallet instead of any physical requirements.

OCC clarifies:

“That national banks may escrow encryption keys used in connection with digital certificates because a key escrow service is a functional equivalent to physical safekeeping.”

Coming from Coinbase’s legal team, Brian Brook’s tenure as the Regulatory Director of national banks has helped the development of cryptocurrencies in the U.S. financial system increase significantly. Brooks once hinted at his interest in expanding cryptocurrency custody. This is an international trend, showing that banks are looking to combine crypto asset classes with their systems.

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