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The US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has granted conditional approval to crypto custodian Anchorage to launch the first federally chartered digital asset bank in the country.

In a statement On January 13, 2021, the OCC said the company has received the National Trust Banking Charter, which will allow it to establish Anchorage Digital Bank after an in-depth review of its operations.

With the approval, Anchorage is now expected to meet the capital and liquidity requirements of the OCC as well as certain risk management procedures. The company signed an agreement for this with the bank supervisor.

“By bringing this candidate into the federal banking system, the bank and industry will benefit from the OCC’s extensive experience and expertise,” said the regulator, a unit of the US Treasury Department.

At the same time, Anchorage’s approval shows that the national bank charters provided under the National Bank Act are broad and flexible enough to accommodate changing approaches to financial services in the 21st century, he added.

Founded in 2017 by Nathan McCauley and Diogo Mónica, Anchorage provides cryptocustody and trading services to institutional investors. The company reportedly manages approximately $ 100 billion in transactions per year.

Anchorage filed for a national bank charter last year, in hopes of making it easier for conventional banks to offer crypto services through what it calls sub-custody with the company.

In a blog post on Wednesday, McCauley and Mónica set out:

Having a national bank charter places Anchorage Digital Bank firmly on the same regulatory basis as other national banks in the country. Since our inception, we’ve been credited multiple times with blurring the lines between crypto and traditional finance. Today we are happy that those lines are starting to be cleared.

Anchorage will be the first cryptocurrency entity to receive a federal charter. However, last year, Kraken and Avanti were both licensed to operate as digital asset banks by the state of Wyoming. The state charter allows the duo to go national, but there are limits.

The Anchorage banking charter has been hailed as a significant development in the growth of the US crypto industry. Under Acting Auditor Brian Brooks, the OCC has made some progress in building the nascent industry. Last year, the regulator allowed banks to use stablecoins and public blockchains for settlement. The OCC also gave the green light for US banks to hold stablecoin reserves for issuers.

What do you think of the Anchorage National Banking Charter? Let us know in the comments below.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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