Regulators Issue Joint Statement Promising More Guidance on Cryptocurrency

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Nov 24, 2021

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the U.S. Federal Reserve, and the Office of the Comptroller of Currency issued a joint statement saying that, come next year, there will be more guidance on the regulators' positions on various aspects of the cryptocurrency sector. The statement was released after a series of what were called "policy sprints" whereby agency staff with various backgrounds and relevant subject matter expertise conducted preliminary analysis on various issues regarding crypto-assets. 

The focus of the sprints included developing a commonly understood vocabulary using consistent terms regarding the use of crypto-assets by banking organizations; identifying and assessing key risks, including those related to safety and soundness, consumer protection and compliance, and considering legal permissibility related to potential crypto-asset activities conducted by banking organizations; and analyzing the applicability of existing regulations and guidance and identifying areas that may benefit from additional clarification.

The statement said that, come 2022, the agencies plan to "provide greater clarity" on how, or whether, certain activities associated with digital assets interact with the relevant laws and regulations. These activities include: 

* Crypto-asset safekeeping and traditional custody services.
* Ancillary custody services; 
* Facilitation of customer purchases and sales of crypto-assets;
* Loans collateralized by crypto-assets;
* Issuance and distribution of stablecoins; and
* Activities involving the holding of crypto-assets on balance sheet

The agencies also will evaluate the application of bank capital and liquidity standards to crypto-assets for activities involving U.S. banking organizations and will continue to engage with the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision on its consultative process in this area

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