ABA Highlights Need for Clarity, Consistency Regarding Digital Assets

As consumers increasingly buy, hold and sell digital assets, the American Bankers Association told the FDIC today that these individuals “are best served when they can do so through banks that are subject to rigorous oversight and supervision.” However, the association noted that significant questions remain over the regulation of digital asset markets.

In a comment letter responding to a recent request for information, ABA highlighted the need for a consistent taxonomy for digital assets across all relevant regulators, regulatory clarify regarding the types of digital asset activity are permissible for banks, and consistent regulation of bank and non-bank entities that are engaged in digital asset activities. The letter also addressed several specific issues, including custodial services for digital assets, partnerships with financial technology firms, the capital treatment of digital assets and stablecoins.

As policy conversations continue around digital assets, ABA earlier this week released a free report on cryptocurrency for bankers that discusses its origins, uses, technological underpinnings and the industry surrounding it. The report also includes information on existing and emerging regulatory issues around cryptocurrency, what to expect in the next year as well as some considerations for banks as they approach the crypto sector.