Although banks in the United States can actually offer products like Bitcoin, they have so far been unsure about the legal situation. A bank now wanted to get more detailed information from the OCC, as is the case with the rules for storing cryptocurrencies from banks. From this emerged the public letter, after which it was expressly approved.
Increasing demand for digital currency
The letter said that one realized that there was an ever-increasing demand for digital currency storage options by banks:
“The provision of custody services for cryptocurrencies is the responsibility of long-standing authorities that deal with custody and custody activities. As discussed below, this is a permitted form of traditional banking activity that the National Banks are authorized to conduct electronically. The provision of such services is permitted in both non-fiduciary and fiduciary functions. A bank offering non-fiduciary custody would essentially hold the cryptographic key that enables the customer’s cryptocurrency to be controlled and transferred.” -Extract of the open letter from the OCC
Sympathy for technology
Head of OCC previously worked for Coinbase, a major cryptocurrency exchange
Brian P. Brook is the chairman of the OCC and former head of the legal department at Coinbase. He brings with him extensive experience and sympathy for the technology. In a comment on the open letter, he said:
“From secure lockers to virtual safes, we need to ensure that banks can meet their clients’ financial services needs today. This statement clarifies that banks can continue to meet their customers’ needs to protect their most valuable assets, which today include cryptocurrencies for tens of millions of Americans.”