November 26, 2022

Volume XII, Number 330


US Federal Banking Regulators Release Joint Statement on ‘Crypto-Asset Policy Sprint Initiative’

On Nov. 23, 2021, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a joint statement summarizing a new “Crypto-Asset Policy Sprint Initiative.” The initiative sets forth the agencies’ goals to establish uniform standards for regulating crypto-asset transactions involving U.S. banking organizations. To that end, the initiative previews that, in 2022, the agencies will:

  • develop a commonly understood vocabulary using consistent terms regarding the use of crypto-assets by banking organizations;

  • identify and assess key risks related to consumer protection, safety and soundness, and compliance; and

  • analyze the applicability of existing regulations and guidance to identify areas that may benefit from additional clarification.

The initiative promises that further clarity is forthcoming on:

  • crypto-asset safekeeping and traditional custody services;

  • ancillary custody services;

  • facilitation of customer purchases and sales of crypto-assets;

  • loans collateralized by crypto-assets;

  • issuance and distribution of stablecoins; and

  • activities involving the holding of crypto-assets on-balance sheet items.

According to the statement, the agencies’ efforts to provide greater regulatory clarity may include guidance on staking, facilitating crypto-lending, and distributed technology governance services.

In addition, the agencies will evaluate how existing banking standards—like bank capital and liquidity standards—will apply to crypto-asset activities involving U.S. bank organizations.

The Joint Statement was published just a few weeks after the release on the Presidential Working Group Report on Stablecoins, which recommended that the U.S. Congress take prompt action to address regulatory gaps in the stablecoin market and, in the absence of such legislative action, that the U.S. federal bank regulatory agencies use their existing regulatory authorities to regulate the stablecoin market. See Nov. 23 GT Alert. Further guidance is anticipated in 2022 from the agencies on U.S. banking organizations’ activities with digital assets.

©2022 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 335

About this Author

Carl Fornaris, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Miami and Washington DC, Finance and Corporate Law Attorney

Carl A. Fornaris is an attorney in firm's Financial Regulatory and Compliance Practice. With 24 years of legal experience, Carl advises banks and their holding companies, investment advisers, securities broker dealers, gaming firms, money services businesses and other financial institutions on all aspects of their business. These include  licensing, capital-raising transactions, acquisitions and divestitures, USA PATRIOT Act/BSA/AML compliance and OFAC sanctions programs (including permissible financial activities in Cuba), critical examination reports and enforcement...

William B. Mack, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, New York, Finance Law Attorney

William B. Mack is part of the firm’s government affairs and financial regulatory and compliance groups. He is experienced in advising companies on regulatory and compliance matters relating to the Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, the Exchange Act, Anti-Money Laundering laws and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) rules.

William’s practice involves all aspects of broker-dealer regulation, including Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) membership, supervision, employment, research, soft dollar arrangements, chaperoning of...

Kristin L. O'Carroll San Francisco California Civil Dispute Resolution Associate Attorney Greenberg Traurig LLP

Kristin L. O'Carroll is an experienced litigator who represents clients in an array of complex commercial negotiations and civil disputes across industries. She has represented clients in trials, mediations, settlement conferences, and judicial reference proceedings. Kristin collaborates with clients to develop litigation strategies consistent with business objectives. Kristin has litigated and arbitrated a variety of litigation matters, including disputes involving real property, corporate governance, partnership disputes, and commercial issues.