Recent digital asset custody clarity from the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or OCC, will likely affect institutional investors more, according to OKCoin CEO Hong Fang.
“The biggest impact will potentially be on institutional investors,” Fang told Cointelegraph.
“Retail investors have a much wider range of existing choices (and preferences). I look forward to seeing more banks becoming more open to crypto, with potentially better banking channels, more public awareness, as well as more regulatory clarity. A better user experience ultimately wins.”
The OCC brings clarity
On July 22, the OCC clarified a former regulatory grey area of sorts around cryptocurrency custody. As a result, federally chartered banks now know they can custody cryptocurrencies.
“The OCC ruling is definitely positive news for the nascent crypto industry, as crypto assets are now considered a legitimate asset class for banks,” Fang said. “The OCC has made an important milestone by allowing traditional banks to provide custodial services that will apply to crypto, thereby strengthening the overall financial system and broadening financial inclusion.”
Fang added that the clarification allows for further crypto industry expansion.
Will all banks offer crypto custody in the future?
Given the OCC’s clarity, matched with the crypto and blockchain industry’s growth over the years, logic might see banks becoming increasingly involved. “Banks will continue to provide products and services that their customers demand,” Fang said on the matter. “Therefore, offering crypto custody depends on each bank’s target market as well as the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies,” she added.
The crypto space also already houses several entities pointed toward digital asset solutions, including various U.S. institutions separate from the banking sector, Fang said, adding her interest in viewing how everything plays together around the industry in the coming days.