Texas will allow state banks to start holding Bitcoin and all banks with a national charter can do so according to the OCC so let’s read more in our latest Bitcoin news today.
The Texas Department of Banking issued a notice today confirming that state-chartered banks will store crypto on clients’ behalf if they have adequate protocols in place for complying with the law. It seems like a huge victory for the cryptocurrency companies and users in Texas but really, nothing changed in the department’s view:
“Texas state-chartered banks have long provided their customers with safekeeping and custody services for a variety of assets. While custody and safekeeping of virtual currencies will necessarily differ from that associated with more traditional assets, the Texas Department of Banking believes that the authority to provide these services with respect to virtual currencies already exists pursuant to Texas Finance Code § 32.001.”
The notice gives interested banks an option to store copies of private keys or to accept crypto transfers into wallets that are controlled by the banks. They could also choose to partner with third parties to provide these services. Banks with trust powers could even offer fiduciary custody services which means they have certain legal obligations to the client like to keep the asset safely and to return it unharmed upon request. Texas will allow the state banks to hold BTC and state banking charters are distinct from federal charters and provide financial institutions with a degree of choice. Since 1999 however, Texas state banking charters provided parity with national banks which means that a bank chartered in Texas can do anything a federally chartered bank can.
This makes Texas a desirable place for financial institutions to do business and it is the second country by a number of banks behind California, as per the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Outside of Texas, Wyoming worked hard to attract more crypto-based companies which led to a series of blockchain laws being brought in the company as Kraken earned the state’s first special-purpose depository institution license right after Avanti. The charters allow these banks to not only provide custody but to settle trades between cryptocurrencies and the US dollar and to also create their own stablecoins.
The institutions differ from federally chartered crypto banks Paxos, Protego, and Anchorage whose licenses allowed the crypto companies to avoid compliance issues that are related to money transmitter laws in 50 states but they don’t allow them to take customer deposits.