OCC Says Banks Can Offer Crypto Custody Services

By Philip Rosenstein (July 22, 2020, 1:07 PM EDT) -- The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said Wednesday that national banks and federal savings associations are authorized to provide customers with cryptocurrency custody services, saying such activity is "a modern form of traditional bank activities related to custody services."

In an interpretive letter, the OCC said it has concluded that national banks can custody cryptocurrency, including "unique cryptographic keys." The letter, signed by senior deputy comptroller and chief counsel Jonathan Gould, also seeks to reaffirm that national banks are able to provide allowed banking services to any lawful business, which includes cryptocurrency companies.

"From safe-deposit boxes to virtual vaults,...

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