The US Chief office of currency control (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) has authorized Federal Savings Bank associations and national banks to store their customers ‘ cryptocurrencies.
According to the OCC, this type of Service is “a modern form of traditional banking related to custody services”.
The statement was submitted together with a cover letter explaining the reasons for the OCC’s decision. The US regulator refers to the request”regarding the National Bank’s authority to provide customers with a cryptocurrency storage service”.
“Since digital currencies exist only on a blockchain or ledger, the storage of the coins themselves is not possible. Instead, the rights to a separate unit of digital currency are transferred between the parties using unique cryptographic keys. Thus, the bank,” holding” digital currencies in the interests of its client, actually takes over the access key to this cryptocurrency unit, ” the explanation says.
The OCC also states that banks can store a wide range of assets, including those that are “unique and difficult to assess”. These include, but are not limited to, “assets transmitted electronically”.
“The provision of cryptocurrency holder services falls under this category of well-established security and storage powers. This is an acceptable form of traditional banking activity, in which state banks are allowed to engage using electronic mechanisms,” a note from the OCC.
At the same time, the regulator warns that any institution involved in the storage of cryptocurrencies must develop and implement appropriate risk management mechanisms, policies, procedures, internal controls and information management systems, as well as follow the recommendations of the OCC relating to their activities as a whole.
Brian Brooks, current currency controller and former adviser to Coinbase, said in a commentary on the statement:
“We need to ensure that banks can meet the needs of modern customers in financial services, from safes to virtual storerooms. This statement explains that banks can continue to meet customer needs to provide the most valuable asset to customers, which today also includes cryptocurrencies owned by tens of millions of Americans. ”