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US regulators aim for greater legal clarity surrounding cryptocurrency

Officials have big plans for 2022.
Representation of cryptocurrencies are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on September 28, 2021. (Photo illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Jon Fingas
Jon Fingas|@jonfingas|November 24, 2021 5:48 PM

American regulators might soon offer much more insight into the legality of cryptocurrency deals. Bloomberg reports the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) have shared a roadmap of their crypto priorities for 2022, and they're primarily focused on "greater clarity" around the legal status of transactions. This might include everything from stablecoin releases through to loan collateral and the presence of crypto on company balance sheets.

The three agencies also hope to study how they can apply bank capital and liquidity standards to US bank organizations. The roadmap isn't locked in place — the organizations said they might tackle other issues as the marketplace changes.

The outline follows a wave of crypto policy "sprints" that helped decide the regulatory priorities for the year ahead. The Reserve, FDIC and OCC aimed for common ground that included pinpointing risks and determining the usefulness of existing rules.

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This roadmap might not lead to a concrete strategy. There's also no guarantee this will work in crypto holders' favor. US regulatory bodies have historically erred on the side of caution, and it won't be shocking if cryptocurrency users have to scale back or even stop certain activities to stay on the right side of the law.

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US regulators aim for greater legal clarity surrounding cryptocurrency