US Fed, OCC and FDIC to set up interagency team for crypto regulations

American financial regulators are considering establishing an “interagency policy sprint team” to address fragmented cryptocurrency regulations.

Major financial regulators in the United States are considering establishing an interagency group dedicated solely to cryptocurrency matters.

Michael Hsu, the new head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, announced that the agency has been in talks with the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation about setting up an “interagency policy sprint team” focused “just on crypto.”

At a virtual hearing of the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, the OCC head said that he discussed the initiative with Fed vice chairman of supervision Randal Quarles and FDIC chairman Jelena McWilliams. “This is a really important issue. The rise of crypto has got a lot of attention,” Hsu noted.

Quarles said that the Fed has been working with other agencies in a joint effort to come up with a clear regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency industry, including unified definitions, stating:

“We’re sort of focused very intently on these crypto issues with the aim of having answers and joint views fairly quickly. I’m sure that will be achievable.”

Quarles also noted the Fed’s growing efforts to explore a central bank digital currency, stating that the authority is actively involved in central bank digital currency research with international central banks. “These questions about digital currency are important. I think we need to do a very careful study of that, not just in this jurisdiction but globally as well,” he said.

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