The Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said national banks that they are allowed to run independent nodes for distributed ledger networks.
It has been reported that by referring to independent node verification networks, the OCC’s interpretive letter says that banks “may use new technologies, including INVNs and related stablecoins, to perform bank-permissible functions, such as payment activities.”
However, by coming amidst a great deal of uncertainty as to the future of stablecoins, the OCC’s announcement is big news.
The office cautions that there are cyber risks inherent to using such technology:
“Banks must also be aware of potential risks when conducting INVN-related activities, including operational risks, compliance risk, and fraud. New technologies require enough technological expertise to ensure banks can manage these risks in a safe and sound manner.”
The report said that Brian Brooks, who formerly led Coinbase‘s legal team, has been the Acting Comptroller of the Currency since May.
During his tenure, the office has put out a host of guidance authorizing banks to be more active in crypto and, more recently, barring them from cutting off services to legal industries.
Likewise, the major lobbyist group of the Blockchain Association noted:
“The letter states that blockchains have the same status as other global financial networks, such as SWIFT, ACH, and FedWire.”
Thus, such flagship mechanisms of international payments have had to up their games in response to competition from blockchain-backed payments in recent years.