News Release 2022-43 | April 27, 2022

Acting Comptroller Issues Statement on Standards for Stablecoins

WASHINGTON—Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael J. Hsu issued the following statement after his appearance today at the Artificial Intelligence and the Economy: Charting a Path for Responsible and Inclusive AI symposium hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), FinRegLab, and the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence.

Well-designed standards can promote inclusive and responsible innovation. Take the internet, for instance. The technical foundations of the internet provide for an open, royalty-free network – something we take for granted today. Those foundations did not emerge on their own. They were developed by standard setting bodies like IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) and W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), which had representatives with differing perspectives, a shared public interest ethos, and a strong leader committed to the vision of an open and inclusive internet.

Emerging technologies such as AI and stablecoins enable transactions in blockchain-based systems. Stablecoins lack shared standards and are not interoperable. To ensure that stablecoins are open and inclusive, I believe a standard setting initiative similar to that undertaken by IETF and W3C needs to be established, with representatives not just from crypto/Web3 firms, but also including academics and government. My conversation today with Deputy Secretary Graves underscored that need and reflected the willingness of governmental bodies like NIST and the OCC to engage in such efforts.

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