OCC Grants Anchorage License to Become US First Crypto Bank

Anchorage has secured a conditional license for a national trust charter from the OCC, making it the first national crypto bank in the US.

January 14, 2020 | AtoZ Markets – The Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) has approved an application for the cryptocurrency custodian Anchorage to obtain a license for a nationwide "bank of digital assets".

This became possible after the regulator allowed banks to store stablecoins collateral and keys from cryptocurrency wallets on behalf of customers.

Anchorage secures license to become first US digital bank

In early 2021, OCC provided financial institutions with the ability to use public blockchains and stablecoins for settlements. The steps taken have enabled financial institutions to store, manage, and trade digital assets.

“Anchorage is as much a national bank as the others. The only difference is that we are dealing with cryptoassets, ” explained the president of the organization, Diogo Monica.

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OCC CEO Brian Brooks, who pioneered the convergence of the crypto industry with the traditional banking world, is convinced that fiat will eventually become a legacy of the past. He is confident that banks and financial services more broadly will move to blockchain.

In addition to Anchorage, BitPay and Paxos have filed similar applications for a nationwide trust bank license.

Last year, the Wyoming Banking Council granted Bitcoin exchange Kraken and cryptocurrency startup Avanti the status of a special purpose depository institution (SPDI) with the functions of a traditional financial institution.

It didn't take long to obtain the license, as the custodian is already operating as a regulated trust company in South Dakota, according to Georgia's Anchorage head of legal department Quinn. Behind him are an operational history, developed policies, and procedures.

“The federal bank license will allow us to offer staking and landing services. The company, in fact, was able to interact with the financial system. We can engage in any activity, like traditional banks, but with crypto assets,” explained Monica.

Anchorage is a qualified crypto custodian

In a blog post, the newly minted "digital asset bank" reported that the OCC license received means that Anchorage can be considered a qualified custodian... Previously, crypto companies could not count on such a status that allows them to work, in particular, with pension funds.

“It is a recognition that not only can banks interact with crypto, but crypto companies can function like banks. This is the most important step towards a complete overhaul of our financial services system, ”commented Christine Smith, head of The Blockchain Association's lobby group, on the OCC's decision.

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