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Republicans on The US House Financial Committee Search For Data to Demonstrate Crypto Debanking

2023-04-27 16:13:20

The MPs identify a ‘coordinated strategy’ to block banking for the digital asset sector that is unrelated to a desire to defend banks.


The chiefs of the American financial regulatory agencies have received letters from three Republican members of the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee asking for information on potential coordinated actions against companies that deal in digital assets. The letters are a follow-up to ones that the MPs had issued to the same addresses.

The letters, dated April 25, were sent to the heads of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Jerome Powell of the Federal Reserve System, and Michael J. Hsu, the acting comptroller of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Each letter included a unique set of requests to view the agency's information, but the letters all had the same wording. The letters started out by bringing up the alleged Operation Choke Point of the Obama Administration, which incited banks to refuse service to specific kinds of businesses. They went on:

‘’We are currently witnessing a return of concerted federal prudential regulator efforts to stifle development in the United States. There is no finer illustration than the ecosystem for digital assets.’’

The FDIC's letter from April 2022, the OCC Interpretive Letter 1179, and the joint statement of the three agencies issued in January were used as precedents by the authors of the letters. "Digital asset activity is not inherently risky," they assert, despite the "run-of-the-mill fraud" observed in the cryptocurrency sector.

When seen as a whole, the Fed, FDIC, and OCC's measures suggest a coordinated strategy to de-bank the digital asset ecosystem in the United States rather than seeming to be in reacting to recent happenings or the result of a rapid desire to protect financial institutions from risky behavior. The writers, Reps. French Hill, Bill Huizenga, and Patrick McHenry seek non-public records pertaining to interactions between staff members of each of the institutions they oversee and each of the agencies they address regarding the papers cited.

Quote by Cody Carbone

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