As promised, the OCC (U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) has released new crypto guidelines that allow banks to use stablecoins and blockchain technology for their network of payments and settlements.
Fortunately, this clarification of bank “participation,” not infiltration comes as a positive occurrence in crypto after Brian Brooks, US Comptroller, announced incoming regulations last month.
It is also a relief from the daunting prospective regulations coming from the U.S. Treasury Department as public comments come to a close regarding disclosure of crypto user data.
Consequences of the Announcement
So, what does this news mean for banks, customers, and cryptocurrency in general?
The official statement from OCC states, “… a national bank or federal savings association may validate, store, and record payments transactions by serving as a node on an INVN. Likewise, a bank may use INVNs and related stablecoins to carry out other permissible payment activities. In deploying these technologies, a bank must comply with applicable law and safe, sound, and fair banking practices.”
And according to Brooks, it “…removes any legal uncertainty about the authority of banks to connect to blockchains as validator nodes and thereby transact stablecoin payments on behalf of customers who are increasingly demanding the speed, efficiency, interoperability, and low cost associated with these products.”
- Bank customers get access to blockchain technology via their already existing banks, making transactions safer and more efficient.
- Cryptocurrency gains validation as stablecoinss can be used as a remittance conversion currency. Which, also lowers fees for global transactions.
- And banks finally leap into an emerging fintech system that elevates them into the new digital age.
It sounds like a win-win for everyone involved or does it?
Are Stablecoins in Trouble?
More legislation in Congress involving stablecoins being declared banks may jeopardize this arrangement.
And if stablecoins are declared banks then what happens to the banks that use them? Could this be a way for banks to gain ownership of stablecoins, thus sealing the deal of regulation and centralization for crypto?
It is possible since stablecoins are the ultimate threat to government-issues fiat, offering stability for mainstream use.
Only time will tell what the real agendas are behind government regulation and implementation alike.