Stablecoins Need to Set a Common Standard, Says US Banking Watchdog

The acting OCC chief says stablecoins aren’t ”interoperable” and that should change.

Apr 27, 2022 at 2:44 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 27, 2022 at 3:43 p.m. UTC

Jesse Hamilton is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for global policy and regulation. He doesn't hold any crypto.

The companies issuing stablecoins should work out one technical standard, similar to the common web practice created in the early days of the internet, said Michael Hsu, acting chief of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

“To ensure that stablecoins are open and inclusive, I believe a standard-setting initiative similar to that undertaken by [the Internet Engineering Task Force] and [World Wide Web Consortium] needs to be established, with representatives, not just from crypto/Web 3 firms but also including academics and government,” Hsu said Wednesday at the “Artificial Intelligence and the Economy: Charting a Path for Responsible and Inclusive AI” symposium in Washington, D.C.

He said the OCC is willing to work with other government offices such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology on such an effort, arguing that “stablecoins lack shared standards and are not interoperable.”

The OCC and other U.S. financial agencies have already been engaged in determining an approach to overseeing stablecoins after they agreed in the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets that stablecoin token issuers ought to be treated like regulated banks. The head of the OCC is also a member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, which has been studying whether to treat stablecoins as a potential risk to the wider U.S. financial system.

UPDATE (April 27 15:40 UTC) – Adds the remarks were made at a symposium.

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Jesse Hamilton is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for global policy and regulation. He doesn't hold any crypto.

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Jesse Hamilton is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for global policy and regulation. He doesn't hold any crypto.

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