OCC Bulletin 2021-56| November 23, 2021

Crypto-Assets: Joint Statement on Crypto-Asset Policy Sprint Initiative and Next Steps

To

Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks, Federal Savings Associations, and Federal Branches and Agencies; Department and Division Heads; All Examining Personnel; and Other Interested Parties

Summary

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (collectively, the agencies) today issued a joint statement summarizing the interagency “policy sprint” on crypto-assets1 and announcing several initiatives to provide greater clarity on permissibility, safety and soundness, consumer protection, and compliance with existing laws and regulations related to crypto-asset-related activities in which banks2 may engage.

The OCC is approaching crypto-related activities in the federal banking system very carefully with a high degree of caution and expects its supervised institutions to do the same. OCC-supervised institutions should reach out to the appropriate OCC supervisory office before engaging in any crypto-related activity.

Note for Community Banks

The bulletin applies to community banks that engage in or are considering engaging in crypto-asset activities.

Highlights

The joint statement

  • describes work conducted during the recent interagency policy sprints.
  • explains that the agencies intend to provide clarity throughout 2022.
  • explains that the agencies will continue to monitor developments in crypto-assets and may address other issues, as the market evolves.

Further Information

Please contact Beth Knickerbocker, Chief Innovation Officer, Office of Innovation, at (202) 649-5200.

 

Grovetta N. Gardineer
Senior Deputy Comptroller for Bank Supervision Policy

Related Link

1 Similar to a “tech sprint” model, agency staff with various backgrounds and relevant subject matter expertise conducted—over a short period of time—preliminary analysis on various issues regarding crypto-assets.

2 “Banks” refers collectively to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banking organizations.