The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) issued a letter yesterday stating that “a national bank [and federal savings associations] may provide . . . cryptocurrency custody services on behalf of customers, including by holding the unique cryptographic keys associated with cryptocurrency. This letter also reaffirms the OCC’s position that national banks may provide permissible banking services to any lawful business they chose, including cryptocurrency business, so long as they effectively manage the risks and comply with applicable law.” (“Letter”).
The key phrase above is “any lawful business.” When a financial institution deals with crypto clients, whether the institution is actually dealing with a customer engaged in lawful activity is literally the question. Oddly, therefore, the Letter is simultaneously groundbreaking and yet also nothing new.
Continue Reading OCC Announces that Federally-Chartered Banks and Thrifts May Provide Custody Services for Crypto Assets