US Regulator Greenlights Banks to Provide Custody Services for Crypto

News and Analysis

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which is an independent bureau within the United States Department of the Treasury, has officially allowed federally chartered banks to store cryptocurrency wallet keys.

The open letter written by the OCC Deputy Head Jonathan Gould suggests that banks are capable of offering safer custody services than existing market players. Banks are now allowed to provide fiduciary and non-fiduciary custody services. Apart from banks, the decision also covers federal thrifts.

Notably, the letter also suggests that custodial services may “extend beyond passively holding ‘keys’.”

Brian Brooks, former Coinbase executive and current head of the OCC, added that “from safe-deposit boxes to virtual vaults, we must ensure banks can meet the financial services needs of their customers today.” He believes that dozens of millions of Americans see cryptocurrencies as valuable assets.

The decision seems to garner high appreciation from the crypto-industry.

Currently, Coinbase Custody is the biggest institutional crypto custodian in the U.S. It manages $7 billion worth of digital assets. Other major custodians in the U.S. are Fidelity Digital Assets, BitGo, and Bakkt.

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