BitPay, the Bitcoin (BTC) payments giant, has aimed to form a national trust bank, based on its recent filing with the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).
Eden Doniger, the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of BitPay, said:
“We confirm BitPay has filed an application with the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to establish BitPay National Trust Bank. A national trust bank is a limited purpose national bank that engages in trust activities.”
It has been reported that a representative for the OCC said that the office received BitPay’s application on December 7, as with its limited operations, a national trust bank does not, for example, need to purchase FDIC insurance required of most banks.
However, under the leadership of former Coinbase executive Brian Brooks, the OCC approved digital asset custody by federally-chartered banks this past summer.
The report said that the crypto clarity from the OCC came after more than 10 years of generally murky waters, including a number of high-profile cases in which banks cut off crypto firms from services. Consequently, Brooks has been hailed as a blessing for the industry.
As per the report, Brooks never received Senate confirmation for his position and only recently got a nomination from President Trump. Given the impending change of administration and little reason to believe that Biden as president would re-nominate Brooks, the crypto industry is waiting with bated breath to see if the Senate schedules his confirmation hearings in the coming weeks.
The OCC usually sets a timeline of 120 days to respond to applications like BitPay’s, in which time the office could be operating under completely different leadership.
“The OCC is at the forefront of government regulation of the cryptocurrency industry.”
Thus, he concluded:
“Our operations as a national trust bank will be subject to strict safety and soundness requirements which will provide our customers with assurances that our services remain best in class and allow us to be subject to a uniform regulatory framework.”