Anchorage gets OCC’s approval to operate as a national crypto bank

Written by: Jinia Shawdagor
January 14, 2021
  • The approval was conditional, and it dictates that Anchorage act as a trust company.
  • Per OCC, Anchorage went through the same rigorous review process of all charter applications.
  • Brian Brooks, OCC acting chief, believes that fiat currencies will soon become antiquated.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has granted Anchorage a federal charter to operate as a national crypto bank. This news was shared on January 13 through a press release, noting that the OCC made this decision after a thorough review of Anchorage Trust Company and its operations.

While OCC’s approval for the conversion of Anchorage Trust Company to Anchorage Digital Bank was conditional, it made Anchorage the first digital asset bank in the US.

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According to the news release, the conditional approval and the operating agreement mandate that Anchorage must limit its business to the operations of a trust company.

The banking regulator noted that it had subjected Anchorage to the same rigorous review and standards, which it applies to all charter applications before granting this charter.

Per OCC, introducing Anchorage into the federal banking system would see the bank and industry benefit from its extensive supervisory experience and expertise. The Anchorage approval shows that the national bank charters issued under the National Bank Act are broad and flexible enough to accommodate evolving approaches to financial services in the 21st century.

Gradually disrupting the banking sector

Brian Brooks, OCC’s acting chief, recently noted that banks and financial services will gradually transition into blockchain-based models. So, it is necessary to create crypto banks that can hold stablecoins, which reflect the value of a fiat currency without changing the native asset.

Brooks went on to note that this development would need real cryptocurrencies that interact directly. Using real crypto assets would help eliminate off-ramping because fiat currencies will soon become antiquated, according to him.

Brooks also believes that blockchains are fundamentally banking networks because like banks, they allow the transaction of value across different networks. The only difference is that they do this in an orthogonal manner.

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