US banks have received the green light from regulators to provide custody storage services for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
On Wednesday, the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which regulates all US national and foreign banks as well as federal savings associations, issued an opinion that banks in the country can hold cryptocurrencies, effectively allowing American banks to offer clients tools to invest in the digital currency market.
"From safe-deposit boxes to virtual vaults, we must ensure banks can meet the financial services needs of their customers today. This opinion clarifies that banks can continue satisfying their customers' needs for safeguarding their most valuable assets, which today for tens of millions of Americans includes cryptocurrency", said Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian P. Brooks.
The development also has the potential to boost the legitimacy of the crypto market as bank-run custodial services could attract more accredited and institutional investors to the space.
The OCC decision may also encourage more inflows of capital into the cryptocurrency markets.
“Bitcoin’s progress into the banking system is gaining steam and this should be positive for the entire crypto space”, said OANDA’s Edward Moya.
The price of Bitcoin has increased by around 1.8% since Wednesday to US$9,562.