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U.S. banking regulators to clarify banks’ crypto role in 2022 – statement

U.S. banking regulators to clarify banks' crypto role in 2022 - statement
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A representation of the virtual currency Bitcoin is shown in this illustration taken on October 19, 2021. REUTERS / Edgar Su

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. banking regulators said on Tuesday they intend to clarify what role conventional banks can legally play in the cryptocurrency market in 2022.

In a statement, the regulators said they plan to clarify the type of activities that banks can engage in in relation to cryptocurrencies, including holding them on their balance sheets, issuing stablecoins, owning crypto assets, and facilitating the trading of digital currencies on behalf of customers, among other opaque areas. currently. .

The joint statement from the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is an update on the work of the interagency “fast sprint” team that met earlier this year.

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While the agencies did not provide details, they said the rapid growth of cryptocurrencies presents “potential opportunities and risks” for traditional banks. They said regulators wanted to provide “coordinated and timely” clarification of the institutions they monitor.

“The agencies have identified a number of areas that require more public clarity,” the agencies said. “Throughout 2022, the agencies plan to provide greater clarity on whether certain crypto-asset-related activities of banking institutions are permitted by law, safety and health expectations, consumer protection, and compliance with existing laws and regulations.”

Agency officials are working to determine the risks faced by banks involved in crypto activity, as well as whether existing regulations should be updated to account for this activity.

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(Reporting by Pete Schroeder) Editing by Dan Grebler

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