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OCC Chief Hints at Coming 'Good' Actions on Crypto by End of Trump's Term

Brooks hinted at a flurry of crypto clarity actions in the next 6 weeks that could drive more institutions into the asset class.

Dec 4, 2020 at 1:33 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:38 a.m. UTC

Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks predicted a lineup of cryptocurrency banking and clarification actions will emerge from the Trump Administration during its final days.

The chief national banking regulator said Friday on CNBC's Squawk Box:

"I don't think we need 50 regulations, but what we do need is clarity about what's allowed," he said. Brooks cited banks plugging "directly into blockchains as payment networks" as one place where "the answer has to be yes."

Brooks seemed to imply the crypto banking clarity coming "in the next six to eight weeks" would have a positive impact on bitcoin's price.

"It may have been a bubble two years ago, but with more clarity institutions that see this is a real thing are going to adopt at scale, which they've already started to do so," Brooks said. He said regulatory clarity "are the things that are driving prices at this point."

Brooks refused to directly answer the show hosts' questions about the rumored self-hosted wallet regulation supposedly coming out of the Treasury Department. Last week, Brooks' former boss, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, publicly suggested on Twitter that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was ready to stifle crypto innovation with a slap-dash final regulatory push.

"We're very focused on getting this right, we're very focused on not killing this and it's equally important that we develop the networks behind bitcoin and other cryptos as it is that we prevent money laundering and terrorism financing. So believe me, there's a balance here and it's going to work for everybody," he said.

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