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Congressional letter to OCC: Will you support open blockchain networks?

That’s the gist of a new letter from Rep. David Schweikert to Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry. Citing work by Coin Center, the letter asks the OCC several important questions about its approach to cryptocurrencies, including:

Several open blockchain advocates and firms have contrasted the regulatory framework here in the U.S. with the approach taken in other countries. We are particularly concerned with the suggestion that the U.S. may lose its competitive edge in these technologies because of two areas where international approaches differ from the approach in the U.S.: (1) the standards-based rather than rules-based approach to regulation found in the U.K. and Singapore and (2) the unified regulatory landscape afforded non-bank money services businesses across the EU member nations thanks to license passporting. What steps has the OCC taken to investigate its potential role in providing a more flexible and uniform approach to the regulation of non-bank financial services as well as open blockchain firms here in the U.S.? What steps has the OCC taken or does the OCC intend to take to coordinate with AML/CTF authorities (e.g. FinCEN, OFAC, and FATF) as well as State banking regulators to develop these flexible and uniform approaches?

The whole letter is worth reading. We’re very heartened by the interest that members of Congress are showing in making sure that the greatest impediments to cryptocurrency innovation are addressed and that we get it right. And we’re just as heartened that so far the OCC seems to be taking on the challenge seriously and earnestly.