Texas State Regulator Warns Banks to Trust Encryption

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”The point of the notice is to make it clear to banks that under the existing law, they can provide these services,” Marcus said. “How soon we see Texas state-chartered banks actually start offering these and get these products and services in place is really dependent on the individual banks and what kind of resources they have available.” “Both at the state and federal regulatory agencies, we’re seeing a rise in the virtual currency industry as it continues to evolve,” Marcus said. “We expect our banks to start seeing demand from their customers and we want them to be prepared for that.” Source www.coindesk.com

Texas lawmakers, including Governor Greg Abbot, are scrambling to provide legal clarity to crypto companies and investors in the state.  The Texas Department of Banking’s notice comes amid a booming presence from the crypto industry in Texas. Miners and crypto startups have been moving to Texas in record numbers to take advantage of the state’s relatively cheap energy and crypto-friendly regulatory environment. 

The regulator’s notice looks much like the guidance published for federal banks by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency last July, but according to Marcus Adams, assistant General Counsel at the Texas Department of Banking, the state is not taking its crypto guidance from the Fed, but rather making decisions based on the growing popularity of crypto in Texas. According to the notice, the types of custody services offered by state-chartered banks may differ depending on each bank’s expertise, risk appetite and business model. Banks may offer either fiduciary and non-fiduciary custody services, which could range from safely storing copies of a customer’s private keys to directly controlling crypto assets, including holding private keys, on behalf of its customers. 

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