The Office of the Currency Controller (OCC), the US Treasury Department's office in charge of regulating banks, said that banks can use stablecoins and blockchains for payments.
In a letter issued today, the OCC clarified that, as long as it complies with sound law and banking practices, "a national bank or federal savings association can validate, store and record payment transactions serving as a node in a INVN [independent node verification network]. Similarly, a bank can use INVNs and related stablecoins to perform other permitted payment activities. "
In addition, the letter states that banks can issue stablecoins in the same way as they can with debit cards or checks and exchange them for fiat currencies.
Although the OCC has adopted a pro-cryptocurrency stance when it comes to financial innovation, the attitude comes amid regulatory uncertainties for the cryptocurrency industry. Since mid-December, a separate US Treasury agency, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), has proposed rules that require financial services companies, including banks and cryptocurrencies, to register and report cryptocurrency transactions to private portfolios if reach a certain threshold value.