Brian Brooks, the former Coinbase executive turned leader of the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), recently received a letter from multiple members of Congress expressing concerns over his crypto-heavy leadership.
It has been reported that the letter, from Stephen Lynch and Rashida Tlaib, two congresspeople for Massachusetts and Michigan, also holds signatures from Jesús García, Deb Haaland, Barbara Lee, and Ayanna Pressley, representatives from Illinois, New Mexico, California, and Massachusetts.
However, the letter references the OCC’s “recent unilateral actions in the digital financial activities space, including interpretive letters on cryptocurrency custody, stablecoins, and its announced plans to start offering special purpose ‘payments’ charters.”
The report said that the crypto industry has seen a number of key regulatory clarity decisions in 2020.
In July, federally chartered banks received regulatory approval for crypto custody, while September ushered in approval for stablecoin reserve custody by such banks.
The letter read:
“Given the limited statutory authority of the OCC, we urge the Comptroller to seriously reconsider the implications of a unilateral approach and instead invite the OCC to collaborate with other regulators and Congress on these issues.”
Likewise, the statement said that the OCC’s clarity from September hurts innovation while facilitating “a new class of institutions that benefits large, established fintech firms.”
Giving big tech firms like Facebook the go-ahead to enter the payments arena also raises red flags with the legislators.
Also, in part, the letter posits that the OCC put fintech and crypto regulatory developments ahead of other more pressing issues, such as providing citizens stimulus check access, as the letter listed a plethora of questions for the OCC by citing a due date of December 10 for a response.
Thus, regulators across the board have increased their involvement in the crypto space this year concerning criminal charges and clarity.