Anchorage Digital has received approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) for a national trust charter – making it the first federally chartered digital asset bank in the USA.
The digital asset management firm confirmed that it had received approval from the OCC after submitting an application for a national trust charter in December 2020.
The firm gave three major reasons why obtaining a charter would be massive for the cryptocurrency space in general. Firstly Anchorage would be recognized alongside conventional national banks from a regulatory perspective which would open up the possibility of them using Anchorage for crypto services through sub-custody agreements.
Having a national bank charge would also preempt regulatory requirements at both a national and state level, which would remove the need for Anchorage to obtain varying licenses in different states. Having a charter also gives Anchorage more flexibility around the types of products and services it can offer clients.
Celebrating a milestone for the crypto industry
Anchorage announced that it had successfully been approved for a national trust charter on January 13 – noting the successful application as a ‘major milestone’ for the crypto space.
The company noted that it had in the past been recognized as ‘blurring the lines between crypto and traditional finance’ and described its newly approved charter as the instrument to finally erase those lines.
Anchorage explained that up until now, there was no bridge between fintech companies with the technical capabilities to handle digital assets and federally chartered banks that can operate with the necessary regulatory approvals.
Having received its national trust charter, Anchorage is the first institution with the technical capability and regulatory clearance to provide institutional participation in the cryptocurrency space.
“We are currently witnessing the rise of institutional crypto adoption. From large asset managers, to corporate treasuries, to endowments and family offices, institutional interest in digital assets has never been higher. As the space continues to mature and its use cases proliferate, we expect to see increasing demand for a wide range of services — services that exceed the expectations of traditional finance. A federal charter significantly increases our ability to develop and offer the kinds of innovative financial products and services with the safety and soundness that institutional participants require,” Anchorage explained in its statement.