Customers tapping in to digital-asset markets, including stablecoins, are best served when they do so through fully regulated banks, according to a recent statement from the American Bankers Association (ABA).
The trade group highlighted in a statement submitted for the record of a Senate Banking Committee hearing on stablecoins and their uses and risks, that banks are currently evaluating ways to allow investors to buy, hold and sell digital assets via existing relationships in response to demand.
“The origins of cryptocurrency were driven by the desire to build a ‘trustless’ financial system, where parties can transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third-party,” the ABA wrote.
“It is ironic, therefore, that as interest in digital assets such as stablecoins continues to grow, consumers engaging with digital assets most often seek out trusted financial institutions to act as financial intermediaries.”
Unlike other financial assets, stablecoins are not subject to comprehensive, consistent regulatory standards that mitigate risk posed to the financial system and to individual consumers, according to the ABA.
The trade body has come out in support of the recent report from the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets on stablecoins and the recommendations made, including that stablecoin issuers be insured depository institutions subject to regulation, and that custodial wallet providers also be subject to regulation.
The trade body has said that any such regulation should provide a clear and comprehensive definition of “stablecoin” that avoids loopholes and clearly differentiates it from other digital assets.
Regulation should also recognize that stablecoin structures pose systemic risks.
Earlier in the month, US federal bank regulatory agencies announced a roadmap of future work related to crypto-assets, following a series of interagency “policy sprints” that focused on crypto-asset-related activities.
The roadmap, to be released next year, will include greater clarity on whether certain activities related to crypto-assets conducted by banking organizations are legally permissible.