The Federal Reserve announced final guidelines Monday (Aug. 15) that could pave the way for institutions holding crypto and other “new types of financial products” to gain access to so-called master accounts with the central bank.
Although the press release from the Fed’s Board of Governors made no specific reference to cryptocurrency, bitcoin, or any other digital assets, many industry watchers took the new guidelines to mean that.
In its statement, the Fed said the guidelines were set to ensure that any new requests for access to Federal Reserve accounts and payment services would be reviewed in a “transparent, risk-based, and consistent set of factors.”
The new review guidelines come at a time of persistent debate over how best to regulate digital assets. In June, PYMNTS reported that Vice Chairman Lael Brainard’s belief that there needed to be more regulation for the crypto industry before it was big enough to add more risks.
Speaking at a Bank of England conference in London, Brainard said the volatility in crypto over the past six months that saw numerous companies freezing withdrawals and going bankrupt, was indication that digital assets and currencies are just as risky as traditional ones.
“It is important that the foundations for sound regulation of the crypto financial system be established now before the crypto ecosystem becomes so large or inte...