Trump Banking Regulator Determined Banks Should Be Allowed to Trade Crypto: Report

But the OCC staff’s ruling was never made public.

Oct 22, 2021 at 9:18 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 22, 2021 at 11:41 p.m. UTC

A U.S. banking regulator during the Donald Trump administration took the position that banks could legally trade cryptocurrencies for their clients, according to a Politico article Friday.

  • The determination was made by staff at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), according to the report, which cited unnamed sources. It could enable banks to have digital currencies as assets for trading.
  • The determination, which was never made public, counters the aggressively anti-crypto stance of the former President, who in a June interview with Fox Business said that bitcoin seemed “like a scam.”
  • Three weeks after the 2020 Presidential election, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong even took to Twitter to blast rumored plans by the U.S. Treasury Department to attempt to track owners of self-hosted cryptocurrency wallets with an onerous set of data-collection requirements.
  • Michael Hsu, President Joe Biden’s acting head of the national bank regulator, has been reviewing the OCC’s stance on crypto since taking office in May.

This story is developing and will be updated.


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James Rubin is CoinDesk's U.S. news editor based on the West Coast.