Brian Brooks, the Acting Comptroller of the Currency for the United States, used to be chief legal counsel for the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange; as such, it should not be surprising to learn that he is interested about the role that digital currencies could play in the American economy. On June 4, Brooks issued a proposal that may result in rules related to future interaction between banks and cryptocurrency developers.
The proposal seeks to get the opinion of banking executives and financial technology entrepreneurs on the issue of cryptocurrency adoption; in fact, Brooks states his knowledge of some existing financial services taking advantage of blockchain projects, but it is clear that he wants a full view of what is happening now with relation to cryptocurrencies. Brooks also wants to hear about barriers to entry, presumably beyond what we already know in terms of regulation.
Although news stories about this proposal have not been published widely, there is no question that this proposal is one of the most positive fundamental developments in recent history. Brooks has mentioned that he really wants to see something happening with regard to financial services and cryptocurrencies; the fact that he is the Comptroller of the Currency cannot be ignored. One of the first things Brooks wants to clarify is how much of an effective role American banks can play as custodians of digital assets. Another question he would like to see answers to is related to stablecoins and their potential regulatory status.
It should be noted that Brooks' appointment as a top financial regulator is not a coincidence. A few weeks ago, top officials at the U.S. Treasury held a meeting dedicated to discussing cryptocurrency topics. Something that we can easily surmise by now is that U.S. regulators are seeing the writing on the wall regarding cryptocurrency adoption. Let's not forget that Singapore and Russia have already launched digital versions of their currencies, and the Eastern Caribbean Dollar is currently circulating in token form and with the support of a central bank blockchain. The U.S. clearly does not want to fall too far behind the cryptocurrency competitive curve.