14 Jan 2021 Marsha Tusk
The OCC Gives Green Light To The First Crypto Bank
The crypto community enjoys another institutional support push as the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) allowed Anchorage Trust Company to become Anchorage Digital Bank. The move makes Anchorage the first federally chartered crypto bank in the United States. The approval boosted Bitcoin’s price, and the highest market cap crypto began trading above $38,000.
The OCC gave Anchorage bank charter after a comprehensive operations review, according to OCC’s official statement. Furthermore, the custodial company signed an operating agreement with the OCC to provide sufficient liquidity and capital, as well as develop and maintain a proper risk-management mechanism.
The OCC further noted that in granting this charter, the independent US Treasury bureau applied the same rigorous review and standards applied to all charter applications.
“By bringing this applicant into the federal banking system, the bank and industry will benefit from the OCC’s extensive supervisory experience and expertise. At the same time, the Anchorage approval demonstrates that the national bank charters were provided. under the National Bank Act are broad and flexible enough to accommodate evolving approaches to financial services in the 21st century,” the statement reads.
Anchorage, on the other hand, being a digital asset platform, received a helping hand from payments giant Visa in a $40 million funding round. Apart from crypto custody, Anchorage also supports crypto staking and trading.
“Having a national bank charter places Anchorage Digital Bank firmly on the same regulatory footing as other national banks in the country. Most immediately, it puts first-of-its-kind, sub-custody services within reach for any traditional financial institution that wishes to give its clients access to digital assets,” Anchorage noted.
Meanwhile, the crypto sector expects another big institutional support, as US President-elect Joe Biden hired MIT blockchain professor Gary Gensler to be Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Gensler is a professor at MIT, teaching students on similar topics. However, Gensler’s regulatory background spans a decade, being Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) from 2019 to 2014.
One of the most interesting cases may be with Facebook’s Diem (ex-Libra) stablecoin, as Gensler reported that the asset “meets the requirements for being classified as a security.” He also gave an optimistic stance on Bitcoin, calling it a “modern form of gold.”
The recent institutional turnover may be induced by the change of power in the White House, as Democrats are more crypto-friendly than Republicans. During the past years, the US has been slow in setting regulations and adapt to the new way of how people transfer money. However, the SEC launched numerous cases against crypto-related companies like Telegram, Kik, and Ripple, with most cases relating to fraud or misclassification of an asset.SEC Crypto Market bank SEC Security and Exchange Commission us economy Regulation Banks USA Regulations cryptocurrency market