Crapo Letter to OCC on Cryptocurrency, Payments
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, today sent a letter to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) encouraging it to develop rules of the road for the use of cryptocurrencies and/or distributed ledger technology (DLT) in payments for national banks.
The OCC is seeking input on the digital activities of banks and federal savings associations. Chairman Crapo’s letter requests an update on its findings and information regarding next steps the OCC intends to take with this technology.
Read the letter here or below.
September 1, 2020
Acting Comptroller of the Currency
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
400 7th St SW
Washington, DC 20219
Dear Acting Comptroller Brooks:
The Senate Banking Committee has held hearings on cryptocurrencies and digitalization in the payments system, including the impact of distributed ledger technology, blockchain and stablecoins. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has taken the lead in seeking input on the digital activities of banks and federal savings associations by issuing a June 4 Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on a variety of areas important to financial technology (fintech) and digital currency issuers, including:
- What activities related to cryptocurrencies or cryptoassets are financial services companies or bank customers engaged in and what are the barriers or obstacles to further adoption of crypto-related activities in the banking industry;
- How is distributed ledger technology used or potentially used in activities related to banking;
- What new payments technologies and processes should the OCC be aware of and what are the potential implications of these technologies and processes for the banking industry; and
- What new or innovative tools do financial services companies use to comply with regulations and supervisory expectations (i.e., “regtech”)?
Please provide the committee with an update on its findings and the next steps the OCC intends to take with this technology.
The cryptocurrency ecosystem is as diverse in its products and functions as the rest of financial services. These and similar innovations are inevitable, beneficial and the U.S. should lead in their development. Your office recently published a letter that clarifies national banks' and federal savings associations' authority to provide cryptocurrency custody services for customers. It would be prudent to provide similar clarity for payments. The U.S. should develop clear rules of the road that protect businesses and consumers without stifling future innovation.
United States Senator
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