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OCC clarifies stablecoin-related activities

The OCC yesterday published an interpretive letter clarifying national banks' and federal savings associations' authority to hold "reserves" on behalf of customers who issue certain stablecoins. The term "stablecoins" refers to cryptocurrency backed by an asset such as a fiat currency, including U.S. dollars or other foreign currency.

The letter responds to questions regarding the application of stablecoin-related bank activities. It concludes that national banks and federal savings associations may hold "reserves" on behalf of customers who issue stablecoins, in situations where the coins are held in hosted wallets. The letter addresses the use of stablecoins backed by a single fiat currency on a one-to-one basis where the bank verifies at least daily that reserve account balances meet or exceed the number of the issuer's outstanding stablecoins.

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