Anchorage, a crypto custodial service, has become the first to receive a national trust charter from the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The move puts the firm in the position to claim the mantle of the first U.S.-based national crypto bank.
Anchorage Digital Bank Scores OCC Approval
According to a Jan. 13 press release by the OCC, Anchorage has secured conditional approval to become a crypto bank in the U.S. As part of the licensing agreement, the crypto custodian will now have to abide by laid down capital, liquidity, and risk management compliance protocols.
The OCC said Anchorage scaled through a stringent vetting process similar to the standards applied to all other charter applications. By virtue of the conditional approval, Anchorage Trust Company can now transition to becoming Anchorage Digital Bank.
Commenting on the conditional approval from the OCC, Anchorage issued a statement saying:
“Having a national bank charter places Anchorage Digital Bank firmly on the same regulatory footing as other national banks in the country. Most immediately, it puts first-of-its-kind, sub-custody services within reach for any traditional financial institution that wishes to give its clients access to digital assets.”
For Anchorage, the rapidly expanding cryptocurrency market and the influx of the institutional investment herd will create an increased appetite for cutting-edge digital financial products and services outside of the expertise of mainstream financial services firms. Thus, crypto banks obtaining regulatory approval will create a regulated environment for such establishments to offer services to investors in the emerging digital economy.
Crypto Banking on the Agenda
Recently, interim OCC chief Brian Brooks expressed the belief that banking and indeed the financial services sector will ultimately transition to existing entirely on the blockchain.
The OCC, which acts as the banking regulator in the U.S., approved banks to use stablecoins and public blockchain for settlement. Back in September 2020, the OCC allowed U.S. banks to hold stablecoin reserves for issuers.
In another development, Avanti Financial Group received a banking license from the Wyoming State Banking Board. Kraken also got a banking license from the same state regulatory body and was the first U.S. crypto bank.
Meanwhile, Unicas, a joint venture between Cashaa, the online crypto banking platform, and the United Multistate co-op society, opened the world’s first physical crypto bank branch in Jaipur, India. While January 2021 will see 14 branches opened in three Indian states, the aim is to open a total of 100 branches by 2022.
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