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Bitcoin Payments Startup BitPay Applies for US Banking License

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 2 min read
Bitcoin Payments Startup BitPay Applies for US Banking License
Photo: Depositphotos

BitPay has submitted the complete paperwork work to the US OCC to establish a federally-regulated bank in Georgia.

Crypto companies in the US are now taking the bold route of securing a national banking license. On Tuesday, December 8, BitPay filed for the paperwork with the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to build a federally regulated bank.

As per the legal notice published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the proposed banking entity will be named BitPay National Trust Bank. Its headquarters will be in Alpharetta, Georgia. Also, there’s filing states a 30-day comment window for the OCC director to respond.

As per the filing from BitPay, its national bank will first issue 120 million shares. The total capitalization of the shares issued shall fall under $12 million. Speaking to The Block, BitPay’s chief compliance officer Eden Doniger said:

“We confirm BitPay has filed an application with the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to establish BitPay National Trust Bank. A national trust bank is a limited purpose national bank that engages in trust activities.The OCC is at the forefront of government regulation of the cryptocurrency industry. Our operations as a national trust bank will be subject to strict safety and soundness requirements which will provide our customers with assurances that our services remain best in class and allow us to be subject to a uniform regulatory framework.”

BitPay is not the first crypto company to apply for a US banking license. Crypto exchange Kraken has also made a similar move. Another crypto startup Avanti has pushed for establishing its crypto-centric bank in the state of Wyoming.

OCC to Establish Licensing Framework for Crypto Firms

Brian Brooks, the acting comptroller of the OCC has reminded positive on the developments in the crypto space. Earlier this year, Brooks said that the regulator will be establishing licensing frameworks for crypto firms and fintech startups.

Back in September 2020, Brooks said that his agency shall be ready to start processing applications. Brook’s plans haven’t appealed the traditional banks and other credit unions.

However, with the new Biden government taking up the charge in January, it remains to be seen as to how the regulatory decision proceed. Some Democratic Party lawmakers have also asked the Biden administration to overturn Brook’s plans.

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