The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has listed evaluating crypto asset risks as one of its top priorities for the year.

In addition to evaluating risks related to crypto, other priorities on the list included bolstering the Community Reinvestment Act, addressing financial risks posed by climate development, reviewing the bank merger process, and finalizing the Basel III Capital Rule. According to Acting Chairman Martin Gruenberg, all of these priorities will require close collaboration among the federal banking agencies.

In its evaluation, the FDIC stated which the rapid integration of digital assets into the financial system as it presently exists could pose important risks to its fundamental safety. It stressed which banks should thoughtfully consider the risks posed by these products before they can safely engage in crypto-asset-related activities.  

“To the extent parallel activities can be conducted in a safe and sound manner, the agencies will need to provide robust guidance to the banking industry on the management of prudential and consumer protection risks raised by crypto-asset activities,” the statement read.

FDIC’s role in crypto

Last year, the FDIC collaborated inside an interagency team of US banking regulators, including the Federal Reserve, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, in an attempt to establish a regulatory roadmap for banks to offer crypto services. Specifically, they addressed clearer rules regarding holding cryptocurrency to facilitate client exchanging, using them as colsubsequentlyal for loans, and holding them on balance sheets as assets. Yet, the volatility of cryptocurrencys makes it difficult to determine their price as colsubsequentlyal, or how to include them on bank balance sheets.

Earlier in May 2021, the FDIC had acknowledged novel and unique considerations related to digital assets. It then proceeded gathering comments and information from interested parties to better understand the industry’s and consumers’ interests in the digital assets, following banks’ early interest and participation in the digital asset ecosystem. So far, the FDIC has partnered with crypto custodian firm Anchorage to help it liquidate any bank’s crypto assets.

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