That regulators in Gibraltar and Switzerland are licensing crypto firms as fully-fledged banks, authorized to custody funds, trade, and lend on behalf of their clients, may not be so surprising. But, last week, the US banking regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), joined the fray and cleared Visa-backed digital asset platform Anchorage as the first federally chartered crypto bank—paving the way for the integration of crypto assets into the mainstream economy.

The action signals a new legitimacy for cryptocurrency and accompanies growing pressure on mainstream banks, whose institutional clients are hungry to safely access the trillion-dollar crypto market. The OCC has even provided explicit reassurance that banks can hold cryptocurrencies—a service many have been none too keen to perform.

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