The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), part of the US Treasury, announced on Jan. 4 that banks could use stablecoins for payment activities.
- The letter states that banks and thrift institutions can participate in independent node verification networks (INVN) and use stablecoins for payments and bank-permissible functions
- Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian P. Brooks said that the statement “removes any legal uncertainty about the authority of banks” to use blockchains for the aforementioned uses
- It also notes that blockchain use ma enhance the efficiency, effectiveness, and stability of payments, while also pointing challenges in the form of operational and compliance risks
- The OCC oversees the chartering, regulation and supervision of national banks and thrift institutions
- Stablecoins have been a large point of contention among regulators, who fear that the fear that the assets could impinge on national sovereignty; the G20 nations are working on a stablecoin framework
- Major payment networks like Visa are already entering the space as well, having partnered with Circle to integrate USDC payments