The federal agency that oversees banks issued a letter on Monday that gives financial institutions a green light to hold reserves to support so-called stablecoins—digital currencies similar to Bitcoin that are backed on a one-to-one basis by real world money.
While stablecoins have existed for years, their popularity has soared in recent months both in cryptocurrency circles, and among businesses that have embraced them as an efficient way to settle international transactions.
In its letter, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) stated that U.S. banks can lawfully hold the fiat currency reserves of companies that issue stablecoins, provided those firms comply with federal banking laws.
According to Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of cryptocurrency firm Circle—which has issued a stablecoin called USDC alongside crypto giant Coinbase—the letter will provide legal cover for tech and finance companies that are experimenting with stablecoins.
Allaire pointed in particular to … Read More