OCC’s Brian Brooks testifies to the importance of crypto before US Senate

The Acting Comptroller of the Currency presented the growing role of crypto in general and stablecoins in particular to the Senate today.

As part of his statement to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, acting Comptroller of the Currency, Brian Brooks, prepared a whole section on crypto assets, including specific mention of stablecoins. 

“Today, roughly 60 million Americans own some type of cryptocurrency, with a total market cap of nearly $430 billion,” Brooks said, adding:

“These figures clearly illustrate that this payment mechanism is now firmly entrenched in the financial mainstream. Cryptocurrency has become a popular mechanism for sending and receiving payments for goods and services because transactions post in real time and provide convenience and security.”

Brooks also mentioned people becoming accustomed to crypto, as seen in stablecoin usage. The government leader subsequently recapped major crypto-related moves by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or OCC, throughout 2020.

The office gave federally chartered banks approval to custody crypto in July, clarifying uncertain regulation. In late September, the OCC provided further clarity on digital asset custody in relation to stablecoin reserves. 

“The agency continues to consider other issues relevant to cryptocurrency assets and distributed ledger technology including the application of the technology to support payments services conducted within the federal banking system,” Brooks concluded.

Regulatory intervention has increased globally in 2020, seen in enforcement action as well as government clarity.

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