This measure opens the way for banks to execute blockchain nodes and even become network validators.
The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has published an interpretative letter stating that banks are allowed to use stablecoins and blockchain networks as settlement infrastructure in the U.S. financial system.
The OCC concluded that the adoption of blockchain and stablecoins can increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and stability of payment activities and obtain the benefits of real-time payments already enjoyed in other countries.
According to the letter, banks can validate, store and record payment transactions as a node and use stablecoins to perform „permitted“ payment activities while complying with applicable law.
According to an official press release, national banks and federal savings associations will be allowed to use blockchain and stablecoins technology for payment activities and other „permitted bank“ functions.
The office is basically „clarifying the authority of national banks and federal savings associations to participate in independent node verification networks (INVN) and to use stablecoins for payment activities and other functions permitted by the banks“.
The announcement clarifies that public blockchains, which he calls Independent Node Verification Networks, can be used by national banks to validate, store, and record transactions.
Acting Currency Controller Brian Brooks said the measure shows that the U.S. is seeking to support innovation in the financial and banking sector.
„While governments in other countries have built real-time payment systems, the United States relies on our innovation sector to provide real-time payment technologies. Some of these technologies are built and managed by consortia of banks, and some are based on independent verification networks of us like blockchains,“ Brooks said in the statement.
The cryptomote community celebrated the news, with Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire calling it „a great victory for cryptomote and stablecoins.
This means banks can now use public networks such as „SWIFT-like infrastructure, ACH and FedWire, and stablecoins such as USDC as electronic store value,“ Allaire said.
According to him, this paves the way for the use of USDC as a „conventional payment method for all forms of payments and settlement,“ while also paving the way for more regulated financial institutions to run blockchain nodes and even become validators.