OCC reinforces importance of crypto to U.S. Senate

11 Nov 2020

Acting Comptroller of the Currency, Brian Brooks has presented a statement to the Senate highlighting the growing importance of cryptocurrencies and stablecoins.

Within his statement to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Brooks outlined an entire section on crypto assets, including a specific mention of stablecoins, Cointelegraph reports.

Brooks stated: "Today, roughly 60 million Americans own some type of cryptocurrency, with a total market cap of nearly $430 billion.”

He went on to add: "These figures clearly illustrate that this payment mechanism is now firmly entrenched in the financial mainstream. Cryptocurrency has become a popular mechanism for sending and receiving payments for goods and services because transactions post in real time and provide convenience and security."

The acting Comptroller of the Currency also referred to people becoming accustomed to cryptocurrencies, as seen in the usage of stablecoins. He also discussed key crypto-related initiatives carried out by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or OCC, throughout this year.

Indeed, the office provided federally chartered banks approval to custody crypto back in July, explaining the uncertain regulations. Furthermore, towards the end of September, the OCC offered further clarity on digital asset custody in terms of stablecoin reserves. 

Brooks went on to say: "The agency continues to consider other issues relevant to cryptocurrency assets and distributed ledger technology including the application of the technology to support payments services conducted within the federal banking system.”

Regulatory intervention has heightened across the globe this year, seen in enforcement action along with government clarity.