FDIC’s McWilliams: Clear Rules Needed on Crypto Assets, Stablecoins 

The federal banking agencies “plan to issue a series of policy statements in the coming months” addressing “how existing rules and policies apply to crypto assets, what types of activities are permissible for banks to engage in and what supervisory expectations we have for banks that do engage in such activities,” FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams said in remarks at an industry event today.

Noting the recent uptick in the use of cryptoassets such as stablecoins and the significant innovation currently taking place in the crypto sector, McWilliams noted that in addition to several benefits, “stablecoins also present certain risks, specifically if one or more were to become a dominant form of payment in the United States or globally. This could lead to substantial sums of money migrating out of insured banks with significant ramifications for credit creation, financial stability, and bank funding.”

She emphasized that “in order to realize the potential benefits stablecoins have to offer, while accounting for potential risks, stablecoins should be subject to well-tailored government oversight.” As part of that oversight framework, regulators should ensure that “stablecoins issued from outside the banking sector are truly backed 1:1 by safe, highly liquid assets,” and“should have the authority to ensure the funds are there,” she said.