OCC to team with Federal Reserve, FDIC for joint approach to digital currency regulation

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Three U.S. agencies tasked with regulating digital currency could be about to join forces to form an “interagency sprint team” in order to better shape digital currency regulation, after the newly appointed acting comptroller of the currency said more needs to be done to regulate the space.

Acting Comptroller Michael Hsu said the agencies needed to work more closely together to tackle the current fragmented approach to regulating digital currency, which has different agencies looking at the market from different angles.

In a recent virtual hearing of the House Financial Services Committee, Hsu said the agencies were already involved in a “joint effort” to create a framework for regulation, and to set out definitions for digital currency and other digital assets.

However, he noted that the current position was unsatisfactory, with not enough collaboration between the different agencies responsible for regulating digital currency transactions and businesses.

“I am concerned that the regulatory community is taking a fragmented, agency by agency approach to the technology-driven changes taking place today.”

The hearing, entitled “Oversight of Prudential Regulators: Ensuring the Safety, Soundness, Diversity, and Accountability of Depository Institutions,” saw representatives from a number of banking regulators brought together to consider the issues, including the role of regulation in digital currency.

Hsu said he was already in conversation with Randal Quarles, the Vice-Chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and Jelena McWilliams, Chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC), with plans to form an “interagency sprint team” with responsibility for establishing a joint position.

The sentiments were shared by Quarles at the committee, who said a joint position was “very achievable” between the respective agencies.

“We are focused very intently on these crypto issues with the aim of having answers and joint views very quickly. I think that’s very achievable.”

See also: SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce discusses “Blockchain Policy Matters” with Bitcoin Association’s Jimmy Nguyen

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