The Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (or FDIC), and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) have issued a joint statement announcing a plan to clarify the rules and regulations around how banks can use cryptocurrencies over the next year reports Bloomberg.
The agencies say they’re focusing on setting expectations for what banks can do when it comes to holding crypto, allowing customers to obtain crypto, issuing their own stablecoins or cryptocurrencies whose value is tied to a fiat currency like the US dollar, and taking crypto as collateral for loans and keeping it on their balance sheets.
According to the letter, the goal is to make sure consumers are protected and that banks act responsibly. The regulators also say it’s an attempt to make sure the financial industry isn’t used to launder ill-gotten currency, something the Treasury Department has been focusing on recently.
On Tuesday, the acting comptroller released a letter clarifying decisions that the office had made throughout 2020 and early 2021. Now, the letter says, banks will have to ask permission from regional regulators before getting into certain crypto fields.
The Treasury has also proposed that large cryptocurrency transfers be reported to the Internal Revenue Service, and has asked Congress to start regulating stablecoins.