OCC Chief Says US Officials Should Set 'Regulatory Perimeter' for Crypto: Report

“It really comes down to coordinating across the agencies,” said the acting comptroller. "There is interest in coordinating a lot more of these things.”

AccessTimeIconJun 1, 2021 at 7:45 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:04 p.m. UTC

The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) may be looking to bolster efforts with other government agencies to increase oversight of the crypto market.

According to a Financial Times report on Monday, Michael Hsu, who became acting comptroller since May 10, said he would like U.S. officials to work in lockstep to set a "regulatory perimeter" for cryptocurrencies.

U.S. crypto regulations have been piecemeal, with agencies creating their own interpretive guidance and rulemaking but without any federal legislation to define authority and jurisdiction.

“It really comes down to coordinating across the agencies,” Hsu said, according to the report. “Just in talking to some of my peers there is interest in coordinating a lot more of these things.”

Hsu's comments come two weeks after he said he had requested a review of all of the OCC's pending matters, interpretative letters, and guidance relating to digital assets and cryptocurrencies.

A day after Hsu announced his request on May 19, the acting comptroller told a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., that his bureau, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation may set up an interagency "sprint" policy team to examine the cryptocurrency industry.

The OCC is an independent bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Its role is to charter, regulate and supervise all national banks and federal savings associations in the country as well as federal branches and agencies of foreign banks.

Not everyone agrees on an increase in regulatory oversight for the crypto industry. Former Acting Comptroller of the Currency, and current Binance.US CEO, Brian Brooks warned against a tightening regulatory climate in Washington during CoinDesk's Consensus 2021 event last month.

Brooks called the idea of not accepting a national trust bank as a member of the Federal Reserve because it engaged in crypto custody "not only a crazy idea" but a "dangerous" one.

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