Bitcoin (BTCPayment giant BitPay is aiming to form a national trust bank, based on its recent filing with the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
“We confirm that BitPay has filed with the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to establish BitPay National Trust Bank,” BitPay’s general advisor and chief compliance officer Eden Doniger told CoinTelegraph. “A national trust bank is a national limited-purpose bank that engages in trust activities.”
A representative from the OCC told Cointelegraph that the office received BitPay’s application on December 7. For example, with its limited operations, a national trust bank does not need to purchase FDIC insurance that is required by most banks.
Led by former Coinbase director Brian Brooks, the OCC approved custody of digital assets by federally chartered banks last summer. After the new regulation, exchange of digital assets Kraken received approval to set up a crypto-native bank in September.
The OCC’s crypto clarity came after more than 10 years of generally troubled waters, including a number of high-profile cases where banks shut down crypto firms from services. That’s why Brooks is hailed as a boon to the industry.
However, Brooks never received confirmation from the Senate for his position and only recently received a nomination from President Trump. Given the upcoming change of administration and little reason to believe that Biden would re-appoint Brooks as president, the crypto industry is waiting with bated breath to see if the Senate schedules its confirmation hearings in the coming weeks. The OCC usually sets a timeline of 120 days to respond to applications such as BitPay’s, in which the office could operate under a completely different leadership.
“The OCC is at the forefront of government regulation of the cryptocurrency industry,” said Doniger, adding:
“Our operations as a national trust bank will be subject to strict security and robustness requirements that provide our clients with the assurance that our services remain best in class and allow us to be subject to a unified regulatory framework.”
Called BitPay National Trust Bank, the payment company aims to have a home base in the state of Georgia, according to BitPay’s filing, Posted on Wednesday.
BitPay still has a long way to go, however. “This is the first step of many on our journey to establish a chartered institution,” noted Doniger.
Avanti, an institutionally focused crypto-friendly bank led by CEO Caitlin Long, recently received the approval of the bank charter in the month following the news from Kraken.