Waters goals to repeal the OCC tips; Will be a part of the anti-Trump and anti-crypto offensive


U.S. Representative Maxine Waters, chair of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, wants President-elect Joe Biden to repeal or oversee all cryptocurrency guidelines issued by the Office of Currency Auditor (OCC).

It also comes days after the same members introduced a bill requiring stable coin issuers to obtain bank deeds and government approval to issue tokens.

With that in mind, Waters' action must be seen as part of a coordinated effort to impose stricter regulatory oversight on stablecoins, if not all cryptocurrencies, in order to undo what they described as harm to President Donald Trump's administration.

"As you begin to carry out the mandate given by the American people to restore confidence in the federal government, I want to highlight a few areas where you and your team should immediately reverse the actions of your predecessors," she wrote.

In her letter, Waters (D-Calif.) Called on Biden to repeal the OCC's guidelines that national banks could hold stable coin reserves as a service to bank customers.

Any of these recommendations would undo the work done by Brian Brooks, the currency's acting tax advisor. Brooks was recently nominated by Trump for a full five-year term.

"Your appointed officials in the Office of the Currency Auditor (OCC) must also not, unlike their predecessors, assume that a legislative congress passed over 150 years ago gives them the power to provide a national banking charter to non-bank fintech or payment companies," she wrote.

In a section on financial stability, Waters wrote that the Financial Stability Oversight Council and Office of Financial Research should publish their analysis of developments and the existing legal framework for digital assets and distributed ledger technologies.

If Waters and the three Democratic sponsors of the bill – Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Jesús "Chuy" García (D-Ill.) And Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) – actually intend to push back the pro of the OCC -Crypto Guidance as a way to undo what they perceive as Trump's legacy, a claim by Brooks earlier Friday that "we are very focused on not killing (crypto-innovation)" could prove hollow.

The chairman is in an unenviable position. On the one hand, the outgoing administration is said to be planning to introduce self-hosted wallet regulation, a plan that is already holding the crypto industry in its arms. Now, Waters’s move along with Democratic officials could be bad for the crypto space in the US, especially if the GOP loses the Georgia Senate drain and with it control of the Senate.

(UPDATE December 5, 2020, 01:45 UTC): Rewritten throughout, adding context to previous actions by members of the House.


Melinda Martin