The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) has endorsed its global crypto banking rules for implementation by Jan. 1, 2025, according to an emailed statement on Friday.
An accompanying document by the committee, which is the primary global standard setter for the prudential regulation of banks, suggested that a bank's exposure to certain crypto assets must not exceed 2% and should generally be lower than 1%. These particular assets are tokenized traditional assets including non-fungible tokens, stablecoins and unbacked crypto assets that don't meet classification conditions. Meanwhile, those assets from the list above that do meet the criteria "are subject to capital requirements based on the risk weights of underlying exposures as set out in the existing Basel Framework."
Previously a group of eight traditional finance lobby groups had written to the committee suggesting that just a 1% cap on banks could be too restrictive and could derail innovations using distributed ledger technology. Now there is more wiggle room.
“Today’s endorsement by the GHOS (Group of Central Bank Governors and Heads of Supervision) marks an important milestone in developing a global regulatory baseline for mitigating risks to banks from crypto assets," said Tiff Macklem, chair of the GHOS, the oversight body of the committee.
The classification conditions the committee have set out include ensuring crypto passes a redemption risk test and basis risk test. "The redemption risk test is to ensure that the reserve assets are sufficient to enable the crypto assets to be redeemable at all times," the report said. Meanwhile, the basis risk test "aims to ensure that the holder of a crypto asset can sell it in the market for an amount that closely tracks the peg value," the report said.
The crypto standards the committee set out will be added into the consolidated Basel Framework shortly, the report said. Whether or not these rules are applied will be up to individual jurisdictions.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.