US Banks Can Now Offer Crypto Custody Services

US officials have given the go-ahead for all nationally chartered banks in the US to provide custody services for crypto-currencies.

Senior Deputy Comptroller and Senior Counsel Jonathan Gould has declared that any of America's national banks can hold onto the unique cryptographic keys for a crypto-currency wallet.

Gould made the statement in a letter dated July 22 that appears to be addressed to an unidentified bank.

Prior to banks' receiving the green light from Gould, crypto-currency custody was the unique preserve of specialist firms. To offer the service to large investors, these firms typically had to be in possession of a state license such as a trust charter. 

Now national banks will be able to hold digital assets for their clients, who could benefit as a result.

In his letter, Gould noted that banks “may offer more secure storage services compared to existing options."

He then made the observation that using regulated custodians may help investment advisors and consumers to maintain access to their private keys and consequently keep their funds secure.

Gould prophesized that to keep offering traditional services in the future, banks would likely have to embrace fresh technological solutions.

He wrote: “The OCC recognizes that, as the financial markets become increasingly technological, there will likely be increasing need for banks and other service providers to leverage new technology and innovative ways to provide traditional services on behalf of customers."

In his letter, Gould said banks would be able to provide both fiduciary and non-fiduciary custodian services and compared some crypto-currencies to the US dollar.

He wrote: "The US dollar was a type of asset-backed money prior to abandonment of the gold standard. Some types of cryptocurrencies may have similar characteristics to this type of money. For example, stablecoin is a type of cryptocurrency that is backed by an asset, such as a fiat currency or a commodity."

“This announcement signifies a real acceleration in the embrace of the digital asset class and the value of digital currency solutions," commented Digivault CEO Robert Cooper.

"Not only does this represent seismic development for crypto holders in the US but echoes a broader trend regarding the acceptance of digital assets amongst global regulators."

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