On January 14th, according to foreign media reports, Anchorage, the pioneer of cryptocurrency custodians, was the first cryptocurrency company approved by the US National Banking Regulatory Agency.
According to an announcement by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) on Wednesday, Anchorage will have the conditions to operate as a national trust institution. The first time the United States issued such a license was also part of the Obama-era "fintech license" concept, but under the leadership of OCC Director Brian Brooks (former chief legal officer of Coinbase), this concept is rapidly being realized.
The actual agreement between Anchorage and OCC clarifies the focus of the debate around FinTech licenses; that is, this new type of bank will not hold deposits: "Banks must not engage in the definition of Article 2 of the US Bank Holding Company Act "Banking" activities." With the emergence of online banking, especially with the technical security provided by cryptocurrency, Brooks believes that the future belongs to more customized financial services, but it still requires national authorization.
So far, this registration has been completed state by state, but only recently have cryptocurrencies been registered. In the summer of 2020, Kraken obtained the first encrypted native bank license in Wyoming, USA. Despite this, state regulators expressed concern that OCC chartered non-depository institutions pose a threat to their authority.
The OCC declined to comment on whether Brooks will issue more crypto banking licenses in the last few days of his tenure as OCC director.