OCC leader Brian Brooks: ‘Nobody’s going to ban Bitcoin’

Forthcoming regulations are “going to be a lot less bad than people will worry about.”

Brian Brooks, the head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, said regulators are not looking to “kill” Bitcoin (BTC) but instead ensure its smooth integration into the financial system. 

In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box on Friday, Brooks said: “We’re very focused on getting this right. We are very focused on not killing this, and it is equally important that we develop the networks behind Bitcoin and other cryptos as it is that we prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.”

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is the bureau of the Treasury Department that supervises federal banks.

Brooks’ comment was in response to a question about whether the administration of Donald Trump was planning to roll out potentially damaging cryptocurrency regulations before the end of its term. Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, brought attention to this issue last month in a series of tweets explaining why stringent regulations targeting self-hosted crypto wallets would be a bad idea.

When asked about whether we can expect new regulations by the end of President Trump’s term, Brooks said:“I think you’re going to see a lot of good news for crypto by the end of the Trump term. Some of it is going to have to do with banks connecting to blockchains, some of it is going to be more clarity around the nature of these assets.”

While acknowledging that it’s a “dangerous world out there,” Brooks said:“Nobody’s going to ban Bitcoin. Nobody’s going to ban some of these transmission technologies.”
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