Fed agencies in the US address crypto industry and risks and regulation

A consortium of federal bank regulatory firms in the United States have released a joint statement related to the banking practices in the crypto space and their ongoing efforts to maintain operations despite some challenges in the sector.

Earlier this week, the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released a statement to address the risks and forward motion in the cryptocurrency sector.

According to the notice of the agencies:

“It is important that risks related to the crypto-asset sector that cannot be mitigated or controlled do not migrate to the banking system… Banking organizations are neither prohibited nor discouraged from providing banking services to customers of any specific class or type, as permitted by law or regulation.”

The firms identified eight different risks and challenges the industry faced, such as fraud and volatility. With blockchain-based assets, from Bitcoin ($BTC), to stablecoins such as Tether ($USDT), there are issues that the firms noted in the buying, holding, storing and transferring without the standard protocol seen in the traditional finance realm. According to the statement:

“Based on the agencies’ current understanding and experience to date, the agencies believe that issuing or holding as principal crypto-assets that are issued, stored, or transferred on an open, public, and/or decentralized network, or similar system is highly likely to be inconsistent with safe and sound banking practices.”

The agencies also suggested that cryptocurrency regulation at a national level should be taken with a contextual approach, whereby each case and asset should be considered with broader context in the United States:

Through the agencies’ case-by-case approaches to date, the agencies continue to build knowledge, expertise, and understanding of the risks crypto-assets may pose to banking organizations, their customers, and the broader U.S. financial system.”

While crypto regulation in the United States remains a moving mark, there has been forward motion in approaching the industry.

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