Acting OCC chief has begun a staff review of crypto-related actions

Under former comptroller Brian Brooks, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) made considerable strides related to cryptocurrency regulation. Now, Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu is requesting a staff review of those actions.

"My broader concern is that these initiatives were not done in full coordination with all stakeholders," said Hsu in prepared remarks released today ahead of a House of Representatives hearing on Wednesday. "Nor do they appear to have been part of a broader strategy related to the regulatory perimeter. I believe addressing both of these tasks should be a priority."

To that end, Hsu has requested a review of pending regulatory actions, including the interpretive letters Brooks issued during his tenure.

Those interpretive letters clarified that federally chartered banks could custody stablecoins as well as hold reserves for issuers. 

Hsu's review also covers pending licensing decisions. Applications from some crypto firms, including BitGo and BitPay, will be subject to the review. It's unclear how firms that have already gained conditional approval, like Anchorage, Protego and Paxos, fit into the review process. 

Hsu's comments come just before his testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. He will join other U.S. banking regulators at a hearing entitled "Oversight of Prudential Regulators: Ensuring the Safety, Soundness, Diversity, and Accountability of Depository Institutions."