Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks, a former general counsel at cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, thinks financial institutions in the long-term could become nodes on networks and mint their own stablecoins.
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During DC Fintech Week, a digital currency-focused conference, Brooks said that banks could eventually connect to blockchain networks and function as nodes.
"I expect there is a future where banks will be directly connected to blockchains, where they will see that as a payment network, and they will become nodes on that network along with all kinds of companies there are also nodes on that network. If that happens banks may be able to mint their own stablecoins," Brooks said.
Brooks adds there will be a huge role for banks in the area of distributed ledger, however, this one will be transformational as the legacy role of being an aggregator of dollars "may be completely disintermediated."
In August, the US government bureau that regulates national financial institutions and federal savings associations, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), published a letter in which clarified its position on providing cryptocurrency custody services from banks.
According to the letter, the regulator understands there is "a growing demand" for safe places, including banks, to hold unique cryptographic keys associated with cryptocurrencies on behalf of customers and to provide related custody services.
As national banks can offer custody services for physical assets they are also allowed to provide the same services for digital assets, the OCC said.
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