OCC wants to know what you and your bank are doing with crypto


U.S. officials have, to date, been lukewarm on cryptocurrency over the past decade. In fact, you could say they’ve been all over the map.

One clear indicator that arose over the last three or four years is that U.S. legislators and regulators were not happy about Facebook Libra.

One would surmise that any possible support for a cryptocurrency in the U.S. would be based on a decentralized or government-controlled blockchain, and not the whim of some mammoth tech company.

Beyond that, though, there’s been a lot of confusion over how the U.S. would regulate any kind of cryptocurrency that becomes more than just a fringe pursuit by people similar to goldbugs.

People can’t figure out if coins are assets or securities, and as a result, the SEC seems to be weed whacking the entire industry, cutting off new coin offerings at the knees.

Meanwhile, work on a Bitcoin ETF continues despite the SEC’s repeated refusals to greenlight one or expedite any kind of deliberation process.

Now, we get new announcements that the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is looking with renewed interest at crypto.

“On its official website, the OCC requested feedbacks and comments on regulating cryptocurrencies,” writes Sahana Kiran at CoinGape. “The OCC reportedly issued a  Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) and an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) in order to receive comments from the public to revise its rules concerning digital activities of national banks as well as the federal savings associations.”

We originally got wind of this today through a tweet from CoinGape’s Twitter feed that lays out the significance of this development:

“Good news for crypto community…US Regulator Comptroller Of The Currency @USOCCLooks Into Crypto; Seeks Public Input”

Could the OCC’s communications be a turning point in U.S. cryptocurrency regulation? If there is a single motivation for U.S. legislators and officials, it’s not to be left behind in the global race. China seems poised to introduce a central bank digital currency, a digital yuan, sooner rather than later. Keep an eye on what’s coming out of U.S. offices in order to compete in this important area of fintech.