Review of cryptocurrency rules-New OCC head, Michael Hsu

Following the departure of Brian Brooks, the United States’ banking regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, is set to review cryptocurrency-related rule-making.

As part of his testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, Michael Hsu, the newly appointed acting comptroller of the currency, has requested a staff review of former OCC rule-making regarding the crypto industry.

Updating the framework for chartering national banks and trust companies, interpreting crypto custody services as part of the banking business, and establishing an Office of Innovation were part of the crypto-related actions in the prepared remarks of Hsu.

The focus has been on encouraging responsible innovation. I have asked staff to review these actions, as posited by Hsu.

Hsu argued that the review of the OCC’s crypto rule-making aims to address a fragmented agency-by-agency approach to major financial trends and set a proper regulatory perimeter. “To the extent there is interagency coordination, it tends to be tactical, to deal with a pressing issue, such as Facebook’s Diem,” he noted, continuing:

“My broader concern is that these initiatives were not done in full coordination with all stakeholders. Nor do they appear to have been part of a broader strategy related to the regulatory perimeter. I believe addressing both of these tasks should be a priority.”

The new Comptroller of the Currency stressed that his focus will be ensuring that OCC-supervised banks “operate in a safe and sound manner, meet the credit needs of their communities, treat all customers fairly, and comply with laws and regulations.”


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