Maxine Waters Contests OCC Guidance amidst Anti-Crypto Offensive

Maxine Waters Contests

The House Financial Services Committee’s Chair is Representative Maxine Waters and she has written a letter to US President-elect Joe Biden. The purpose is to push him to either outright rescind or monitor the crypto-related guidance that had been issued out by the OCC, otherwise known as the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Waters issued this letter on Friday and through it, she has renewed the ongoing criticisms by a number of members of the Democratic Party who are part of the House Financial Services Committee. These members have been very open in their criticism of the crypto-related actions that the OCC has taken during the coronavirus pandemic.

One important thing to note is that the same members had also introduced a new bill just a couple of days ago. According to this new bill, all issuers of stablecoins would have to get verified by the regulators, which include applying for a bank charter in order to be able to issue their stablecoins in the market. Keeping this information in mind, it becomes apparent that Waters is also part of the coordinated effort of Democratic Party members for imposing a strict level of regulatory oversight where cryptocurrencies are concerned, or at least do so for stablecoins. 

However, this is where things get a little interesting. The current President of the United States, Donald Trump has made a few comments about Bitcoin and has expressed that he is not in favor of the cryptocurrency. But, Waters claimed that these measures are just a step for undoing the harm that has already been done to the space by Trump’s administration. Waters explained in her letter that people of the US were depending on the upcoming Biden administration to restore the trust they once had in the federal government. 

In this regard, Waters highlighted a number of areas where she said it was essential for a complete reversal of actions that were taken by the Trump administration. Again, it should be noted that Donald Trump had not been bullish over Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies in general at any point. Waters has called on Joe Biden and his team to rescind the guidance provided by the OCC, under which national banks can maintain stablecoin reserves. These reserves would be used for providing custodian services to the bank’s clients. Waters also wants another guidance by the OCC to be removed and this one is over allowing federally chartered banks and federal savings association to offer custodian services for clients where cryptocurrencies are concerned.

This guidance would ultimately lead to the increase in use of cryptocurrencies in the United States. The Acting Comptroller of the Currency currently is Brian Brooks and if these recommendations are put into effect, all the work he has done in his position will be undone. However, it should be noted that Brooks was also recently nominated by Trump for serving the full five-year term, which is considered a strange move, as Donald Trump is not in favor of cryptocurrencies.