Comptroller Disclosed Alternative Method for Crypto Firms to Function As Banks

By Tracy Hannes | December 4, 2020

An alternative for securing a charter that allows functioning as a federally-approved bank to provide crypto custody features, has reportedly been disclosed by Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks. 

Specifically, Brooks reportedly revealed that there are three existing ways for payment firms to operate as a federally chartered bank. First is to submit an application for a non-depository national bank charter, and the remaining two are purchasing a depository institution or apply for a National Trust Bank charter.

However, Brooks reportedly said that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is having plans down its pipeline to provide trust firms with bank status. 

Per Brooks, firms such as Anchorage, Coinbase Custody, and Gemini are functioning as trust firms at the moment already, under state-issued trust company charters.

The Acting Comptroller reportedly revealed that the OCC received “a number of applications” from crypto firms, regarding the conversion of these charters into National Trust Bank charters. He further claimed in July this year that the OCC would greenlight federally chartered banks to provide custody services for digital coins.

“The magic non-depository payments charter — we don’t have that yet but are ready to do it — on the others, yes absolutely, we granted one charter and will have more shortly.”

Brooks – who previously worked as the chief legal officer at crypto exchange heavyweight Coinbase – has reportedly been acting temporarily as the Comptroller of the Currency starting May this year. 


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