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OCC Allowed National Banks to Operate Nodes And Stablecoin Networks

By Katelyn James | January 11, 2021

The Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency reportedly offered regulatory greenlight to national banks, regarding operating independent nodes for distributed ledger networks.

Specifically, when discussing independent node verification networks, the OCC’s interpretive letter reportedly claimed that banks “may use new technologies, including INVNs and related stablecoins, to perform bank-permissible functions, such as payment activities.”

The OCC’s announcement is reportedly a significant development, surfacing during the time where there is still much uncertainty about what the future holds for stablecoins. 

“Banks must also be aware of potential risks when conducting INVN-related activities, including operational risks, compliance risk, and fraud. New technologies require enough technological expertise to ensure banks can manage these risks in a safe and sound manner.” 

Brian Brooks, who was previously the Head of Coinbase’s legal team, has reportedly been taking up the position of the Acting Comptroller of the Currency beginning May 2020. Throughout his active time at the firm, Brooks has introduced a variety of guidance greenlighting banks to adopt a more active stance regarding crypto, and recently, prohibiting them from shutting down services to legal sectors. 

Well-known lobbyist organization the Blockchain Association reportedly shared that “The letter states that blockchains have the same status as other global financial networks, such as SWIFT, ACH, and FedWire.”

Such flagships mechanisms for global payments reportedly needed to spend extensive efforts in enhancing their offerings, as an act of reply towards competition from blockchain-supported payments in the past years.

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