FeaturedGlobal NewsGovernmentPolicies & Regulations

U.S. Banks Urge SEC Revisions After Exclusion from Bitcoin ETF Custodianship

U.S. Banks are advocating for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to revise its contentious Staff Accounting Bulletin 121 (SAB 121) after being excluded as asset custodians for spot-Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), as per a letter dated February 14th from a coalition of trade groups to the U.S. regulator.

Comprising the American Bankers Association, the Financial Services Forum, the Bank Policy Institute, and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the trade group coalition contends that the guidance outlined in SAB 121, preventing banks from being listed as asset custodians for spot-Bitcoin ETFs, may raise “important questions about the safety and stability of this ecosystem.”

The letter states, “We believe that this result could raise concentration risk, as one nonbank entity now serves as the custodian for the majority of these ETPs. That risk can be mitigated if prudentially regulated banking organizations have the same ability to provide custodial services for Commission regulated ETPs as qualified nonbank asset custodians.”

Equally significant, the trade group coalition urges the SEC to amend its definition of what constitutes a crypto-asset, potentially excluding certain use cases such as spot-bitcoin ETFs and tokenized deposits if approved.

“SAB 121 makes no distinction between asset types and use cases, but instead generally states that crypto-assets pose certain technological, legal, and regulatory risks requiring on-balance sheet treatment,” the letter continues. “However, there are significant differences between a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin that exists on a public, permissionless network versus a traditional financial instrument that is recorded on a blockchain network where access is controlled and transactions can be cancelled, corrected, or amended.”

Following the news of the letter’s publication, several key players in the crypto space shared their opinions on X.

“If you were wondering if bitcoin ETFs were going to change the tone around crypto regulation in Washington, here’s your answer,” BitWise Invest CEO Matt Hougan tweeted.

“They want a piece of the action,” Bloomberg’s Senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas posted. “I don’t blame them; it isn’t fair.”

If the SEC complies with the letter’s demands, U.S. banks would have a more significant role in the overall handling of digital assets.

“If regulated banking organizations are effectively precluded from providing digital asset safeguarding services at scale, investors and customers, and ultimately the financial system, will be worse off, with the market limited to custody providers that do not afford their customers the legal and supervisory protections provided by federally-regulated banking organizations,” the letter asserts.

News Desk

UNLOCK Blockchain News Desk is fueled by a passionate team of young individuals deeply immersed in the world of Blockchain and Crypto. Our mission? To keep you, our loyal reader, on the cutting edge of industry news. Drop us a line at info(@)unlock-bc.com to connect with our team and stay ahead of the curve!

Related Articles

Back to top button