- MP Maxine Waters, Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, has sent a letter to President-elect Joe Biden.
- In it, she asked the Office of the Currency Auditor (OCC) to repeal several rules that are favorable for the introduction of cryptocurrencies.
- The OCC is responsible for regulating the national banks.
As the outgoing Trump administration gives way to the new Biden administration, lawmakers from both parties are sending signals to the president-elect about their expectations for everything from political appointments to legislative priorities.
Fifteen-year-old Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, interferes – and her opinion could point the direction of future regulations for cryptocurrencies.
In a letter to President-elect Biden, the Chair said today: “Your appointed officials in the Office of the Currency Auditor (OCC) must not, like their predecessors, assume that a legislative congress somehow passed over 150 years ago gives them the power to Provide a national banking charter to fintech or payment companies. “
Rep. Waters is likely referring to the National Banking Act, which became law during the US Civil War. With the law, which has been updated since then, the OCC was set up as an independent tax office that provides the national banks with charters and regulates them. The law helped modernize the United States’ banking system.
Under Obama representative Thomas Curry, who acted as controller from April 2012 to May 2017, the OCC started accepting applications for Fintech National Bank Charter. Curry’s successor, Joseph Otting, who worked from November 2017 to May 2020, also advocated such special certificates.
These efforts have been incorporated into the reign of acting auditor Brian Brooks, whom President Trump recently nominated for a full five-year term (which Rep. Waters clearly does not want to endorse). For example, under Brooks’ leadership, the OCC Guidelines issued that the national banks can keep customers’ crypto assets safe. It has also been found that national banks can hold stable coin reserves for customers.
Rep. Waters recommended that both directives be repealed.
The OCC also has proposed rule changes This would prevent national banks from discriminating against money service providers such as crypto companies, but also oil and gas companies. In her letter, Rep. Waters called on the new OCC leadership to “immediately lift” this proposed rule, which is to be publicly commented on.
Brooks is a former Coinbase executive who has been criticized by fellow Congressmen. In November, six Democratic legislators – Representatives Rashida Tlaib, Stephen Lynch, Jesús G. “Chuy” García, Deb Haaland, Barbara Lee, and Ayanna Pressley – wrote one letter to Acting Comptroller Brooks, who questioned the OCC’s “excessive focus on crypto assets and crypto-related financial services” while many Americans were awaiting stimulus checks from the COVID-19 Aid Act.
Three of those lawmakers – Tlaib, Lynch and García – continued their case this week. Introduction of legislation That would require stable coin issuers to receive bank certificates.
Coupled with recent rumors that the Treasury Department would introduce onerous regulations on cryptocurrencies, this has raised eyebrows in the crypto industry. Brooks appeared on CNBC today trying to calm people down. saying“Nobody is going to ban Bitcoin.”
That’s probably a good bet – regardless of who is acting as the currency checker when Biden takes office.