In the United States, banks can now take over the reserves that back up stablecoins, as a US Treasury Department has announced. This establishes the legitimacy of stable cryptocurrencies, which can be monitored by major financial institutions.
As Forbes reports , the breakthrough is major: it officially allows institutions to “ keep deposits as a reserve for stablecoins“
Stablecoins are of course already making use of banks, so it is a matter of formalizing the latter’s supervisory role. It was the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) that clarified this new role, in a letter published yesterday. The OCC regulates big American banks, like JP Morgan or Wells Fargo .
It should be noted that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) , an American financial policeman who is usually rather hostile to the cryptocurrency industry, also supported this measure. She explained:
“We believe that market participants can structure and sell a digital asset in such a way that it does not constitute a financial security . “
It should be noted, however, that only stablecoins that are backed by fiat currencies at a 1: 1 ratio are affected. That is to say, cryptocurrencies like Tether (USDT), USDC … But not PAX Gold (PAXG) for example, since the latter is backed by gold.
OCC official Brian P. Brooks confirmed that this move was accelerated by the money supply that stablecoins currently represent:
“National banks and federal savings associations currently conduct business related to Ethereum Code, which represent billions of dollars every day . This opinion therefore helps bring more clarity in terms of regulation for banks. “
It will also allow stablecoins to show their credibility to regulators and their users , according to the letter from the OCC: “ Several of these [stablecoin] issuers are promoting these reserves – and the fact that they are already in storage. in banks – to prove the reliability of their stablecoins. “ The banks that will take care of storing reserves will conduct an audit at least a day to confirm that stablecoin is always 100% backed by a fiat reserve.
Regulators of all stripes often show some hostility when it comes to considering the cryptocurrency industry. With the notable exception of stablecoins, which have grown in popularity since last year. Last January, the Banque de France thus admitted that stablecoins could have a positive impact . But the mistrust remains palpable, as shown by the G20 Financial Stability Board, which recently published 10 recommendations for taking stablecoins into account.