Top US Banking Regulator Grants Federal Charter to Crypto Firm Anchorage

Top US Banking Regulator Grants Federal Charter to Crypto Firm Anchorage

South Dakota-based Anchorage Trust Company is making history as the first federally-chartered bank in the US to receive permission to custody digital assets.

Founded in 2017, Anchorage Trust, now Anchorage Digital National Bank Association, announced in December that it had applied for a national trust charter following guidance from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) that granted permission to national banks to custody digital assets.

After undergoing extensive reviews and meeting rigorous regulatory standards, Anchorage revealed Wednesday in a press release that it has secured conditional approval for a national trust charter from the OCC.

“Having a national bank charter places Anchorage Digital Bank firmly on the same regulatory footing as other national banks in the country. Most immediately, it puts first-of-its-kind, sub-custody services within reach for any traditional financial institution that wishes to give its clients access to digital assets.”

As a national charter bank, Anchorage will be able to offer crypto services ranging from custody to settlements across state borders, circumventing the need to obtain state-by-state licenses provided that it meets certain strict regulatory requirements.

Under the operating agreement between the OCC and Anchorage Digital Bank, the institution will be required to have $7 million in Tier 1 capital when it launches. In addition, the bank is required to, at all times, maintain liquidity of $3 million or the equivalent of 180 days worth of operating expenses.

The OCC also expects Anchorage to implement systems to analyze and maintain levels of capital commensurate with the bank’s risk profile within 30 days of receiving the license.

Previously Anchorage, with $40 million worth of funding from Visa, pioneered a digital asset management system that stores private keys online through a combination of multi-party and multi-factor authentication and advanced fraud detection software.

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