The U.S. Government’s acting Comptroller of the Currency allowed banks in the country to offer cryptocurrency custody services a little less than a month ago.
Advocating the case for crypto, he now says that payments need to happen ‘virtually instantaneously.’ He also feels that ‘the crypto phenomenon cannot be ignored.’
Crypto-Friendly Brian: Payments Need To Happen ‘Virtually Instantaneously’
Speaking to CNN’s Julia Chatterley, Coinbase’s former Chief Legal Officer, and the U.S. Government’s acting Comptroller of the Currency, Brian Brooks stressed on the issues faced by Americans to receive their stimulus check payments.
“We need to get to a place where payments can be transmitted virtually instantaneously, where errors can be eliminated,” says @BrianBrooksOCC of @USOCC who also explains why the #crypto “phenomenon” cannot be ignored! pic.twitter.com/0o4WZwdhnA
— Julia Chatterley (@jchatterleyCNN) August 18, 2020
He said that this is the time when people depend on the banking system a lot more than before. The government, through its ‘paycheck protection program,’ had promised to deliver benefit payments, but all of them have been taking place on ’19th-century banking rails’. Talking about his payments vision, Brooks said:
Many people said that it took days and sometimes weeks to receive their payments. And my vision that we need to get to a place where payments can be transmitted virtually instantaneously, where errors can be eliminated”
A New Payments Charter That Embraces Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies
During the interview, Mr. Brooks mentioned that ‘technology exists’ to help the case of faster payments. He added that for the last 30 years, all money transfers used to happen through the banking system. But ‘the rise of fintech’ in the last 10-15 years has changed all that.
The demonstrated instances of transactions happening on ‘blockchain and other such networks’ have entirely changed the scenario. Millions of payments in the U.S. are now processed by companies like PayPal, Square, etc.
Brian said that the banking charter needs to include ‘technologies that are already existing in other parts of the world.’ He commented that markets are the most dominant force in the world. And that his job as the Comptroller of the Currency is to identify innovation that can solve the inefficiencies that currently plague payments.
Replying to Julia’s query on how quickly this could be achieved, Mr. Brooks said:
My job is not to build new payment rails. My job is to identify impediments that make it harder for people to get what they want in need. And at the OCC, we have an ability to do that.
So among those include the questions of – Should banks be allowed to participate in the cryptocurrency market at all? Should banks be aloowed to connect to blockchains? Should we have central bank digital currencies? Perhaps issues by private companies but backed by bank deposits.
I can identify what the impendiments to that are and try and solve that so epople can get what they want as they expressed through markets. And I think that’s very possible.
‘We Cannot Ignore The Crypto Phenomenon’
When Chatterley mentioned the issue of tackling the issue of cryptocurrencies, Brooks commented by saying that the crypto phenomenon cannot be ignored. Especially in a world where 50 million American citizens hold cryptocurrencies and many more millions outside the U.S.
I am not a crypto bull nor a crypto bear but I recognize reality. Lot of people have this stuff, and they have it for good reasons. And we need to make sure its accesible to them in the same safe and sound way that they can get the check in their account. So that’s our role, to innovate the way people consume financial services in the future.
As mentioned in the beginning, Mr. Brooks recently allowed banks regulated by the Federal Reserve to offer crypto custody services.
Featured image courtesy of Roll Call