On July 22, 2020, the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued an interpretive letter concluding that national banks and federal savings associations have the authority to provide cryptocurrency custody services for customers. The letter, which uses the term “cryptocurrency” to encompass digital currencies, virtual currencies, and “digital assets that are not broadly used as currencies,” is a strong show of support for responsible innovation within the national banking system and offers practical guidance for banks seeking a successful foray into crypto-related activities. Below are some of our key takeaways from the letter.

Norton Rose Fulbright has prepared a legal update, “US: OCC issues groundbreaking interpretive letter on cryptocurrency custody services,” discussing some of the key takeaways from the letter.

The authors are:

Andrew James Lom, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright, New York

Ronald David Smith, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright, Dallas

Kathleen A. Scott, Senior Counsel, Norton Rose Fulbright, New York

Glen Barrentine, Of Counsel, Norton Rose Fulbright, New York

Richard Potomac, Senior Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright, Dallas

Norton Rose Fulbright has a useful database of FinTech materials for those who are interested in learning more about the subject.