A new position from the U.S. Treasury Department (OCC) states that banks may keep cryptocurrencies for their customers as long as they comply with relevant laws, including a ban on money laundering.
The U.S. Treasury Department (OCC), one of the leading financial regulators in the U.S., presented a new position last Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020. U.S. banks are now allowed to provide custody services for cryptocurrencies.
Comptroller of the Currency, Brian Brooks, said: “From safe-deposit boxes to virtual vaults, we must ensure banks can meet the financial services needs of their customers today…” Prior to Brooks joining the OCC, he served as the Chief Legal Officer of Coinbase Global, INC. which operates as a crypto exchange.
This new position presented by the U.S. Department of Currency Control gives American banks a “green light” to enter the digital currency business – an area in which U.S. laws do not provide clear definitions of what is allowed and what is not. In the position paper, the OCC noted that protecting access to holdings of cryptocurrencies is part of the banks’ role in “safeguarding their most valuable assets.” For millions of Americans, this includes cryptocurrency.
According to the Currency Supervisor, banks can provide custody services to customers who hold digital currencies, as long as they comply with relevant laws, including anti-money laundering rules. The OCC noted that banks considering entering such activity should discuss this with regulators before they start doing so.
Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency, traded on Friday, July 24, $9,490, after a 4% increase the week before. The current price of Bitcoin, which reflects a market value of $175 billion, is about 32% higher than it was at the beginning of the year.