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The topic of cryptocurrency was everywhere last week, as both Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu delivered remarks on digital assets policy, innovation and regulation. Not to be outdone, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) got in on the fun by issuing a letter to regulated institutions, instructing to check in with the agency if they are currently or planning on pursuing any cryptocurrency-related activities.

Yellen outlined the Treasury Department’s message to regulation of digital assets – calling for a comprehensive regulatory approach that would not stifle innovation. While Yellen echoed the policy objectives outlined by the President’s Executive Order on digital assets, she stopped short of calling for specific legislation on cryptocurrency.

Acting Comptroller Hsu echoed Yellen’s sentiment in his remarks on stablecoins, calling for bank-like regulations of the digital assets – which are directly tied in value to fiat currencies.

Finally, our friends at the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) expressed their appreciation and support for S. 3954 and H.R. 6415, which would bar the Fed from offering products or services directly to individuals, including the issuance of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

While we do not expect that the Congress will take decisive action on the creation of a CBDC in the short term, IBAT joins ICBA in support of limitations on the Fed to act in a way that would disintermediate banks from consumers. “The United States banking system is the most stable, distinct and efficient in the world,” said IBAT President and CEO Christopher Williston. “While innovation may be necessary to protect our place in global finance, we must ensure that we do not undermine our ability to meet the needs of small businesses and consumers across the country.”