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美国财政部表示,美国银行可以保管数字资产

2020-7-27 13:44

 

昨天,美国财政部的分支机构货币监理署(OCC)宣布,银行可以像提供保管箱一样提供数字资产托管服务。委员会发表了一份解释现行立法的意见书。虽然有些人对这一决定感到高兴,但并不是所有人都对此感到高兴。法律解释是否适用相同的功能,相同的规定还是相同的风险,相同的规定?

公告


“从保险箱到虚拟金库,我们必须确保银行能够满足其客户今天的金融服务需求,”货币代理审计长布赖恩·p·布鲁克斯(Brian P. Brooks)说。“这一观点表明,银行可以继续满足客户保护其最有价值资产的需求,目前对数千万美国人来说,这些资产包括加密货币。”


布鲁克斯上任已有两个月,他曾是美国最大加密货币交易所Coinbase的首席法律官。


该意见适用于国家银行和联邦储蓄协会,公告指出,许多州已经授权当地银行和信托公司提供托管服务。


信中写道:“OCC认识到,随着金融市场日益科技化,银行和其他服务提供商很可能会越来越需要利用新技术和创新方式来代表客户提供传统服务。”通过提供这种服务,银行可以继续履行它们在提供支付、贷款和存款服务方面一直发挥的金融中介功能。”

的反应


尽管加密货币部门似乎对这种观点感到高兴,但这种热情并非普遍存在。


芬兰央行行长阿列克谢•格里姆(Aleksi Grym)在自己的个人推特(twitter)账户上观察到了这件具有讽刺意味的事情:“现在你可以把自己发明出来的钱交给银行,因为你不能把自己的钱交给银行。”


康奈尔大学(Cornell University)专门研究金融部门监管的教授奥马诺娃(Saule Omarova)认为,这可能是一个滑坡。


她在推特上写道:“衍生品在20世纪80年代就是这样开始的:OCC在解释性信件中指出,让银行从事高风险的衍生品交易是多么安全和美妙。因为创新!反正都是客户的事。衍生品市场现在很大。巧合吗?”


回溯到20世纪80年代,衍生品就是这样开始的:OCC在解释性信件中指出,让银行交易有风险的衍生品是多么安全,多么美妙。因为创新!反正都是客户的事。衍生品市场现在很大。巧合吗?https://t.co/NPfgIxqhXh

——Saule Omarova (@STOmarova) 2020年7月22日


2009年,在全球金融危机即将结束之际,Omarova就这个话题撰写了一篇论文,询问这场危机:“我们是如何走到这一步的?”她注意到,OCC通过“解释1863年的国家银行法案,允许银行交易和交易衍生品,潜在的复杂和有风险的金融工具,曾经被著名的沃伦·巴菲特描述为“大规模杀伤性金融武器”。


她认为,OCC的行为“破坏了美国银行监管体系的完整性和有效性”。


这不仅仅是因为衍生品市场在很大程度上被归咎于上次危机。许多人并不欣赏衍生品市场的庞大规模,这一市场的规模是股市的7倍以上。截至2019年底,全球股市市值为94万亿美元(来源:WFE)。相比之下,如果包括场外交易和交易所交易,衍生品市场的规模为665万亿美元。但最大的风险在于559万亿美元的场外交易市场(来源:BIS)。

相同的风险?


美国的做法与其他司法管辖区形成了鲜明对比。例如,在德国,银行必须向监管机构BaFin申请数字资产托管许可证。


监管机构喜欢“同样的风险,同样的监管”的概念。保管数字资产的风险是否与保管实物资产的风险相同?除了那些不在网上的冷钱包外,保险公司的表现似乎并不是这样。

 

Yesterday the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), a branch of the U.S. Treasury, announced that banks can provide digital asset custody services in the same way as they provide safe deposit boxes. It published a letter outlining its opinion in interpreting existing legislation. While some welcomed the decision with glee, not everyone is happy about it. Does the legal interpretation apply same function, same regulation or same risk, same regulation?

The announcement

“From safe-deposit boxes to virtual vaults, we must ensure banks can meet the financial services needs of their customers today,” said Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian P. Brooks. “This opinion clarifies that banks can continue satisfying their customers’ needs for safeguarding their most valuable assets, which today for tens of millions of Americans includes cryptocurrency.”

Brooks has been in his position for two months and was formerly the Chief Legal Officer of Coinbase, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange.

The opinion applies to national banks and federal savings associations and the announcement notes that many states have already authorized local banks and trust companies to provide custody services.

The letter states: “The OCC recognizes that, as the financial markets become increasingly technological, there will likely be increasing need for banks and other service providers to leverage new technology and innovative ways to provide traditional services on behalf of customers. By providing such services, banks can continue to fulfill the financial intermediation function they have historically played in providing payment, loan and deposit services.”

The reaction

While the cryptocurrency sector seems delighted with the opinion, that enthusiasm is not universal.

Finnish central banker Aleksi Grym observed the irony on his personal twitter account: “Now you can trust banks with the money that was invented because you can’t trust banks with your money.”

Cornell University Professor Saule Omarova, who specializes in financial sector regulation, believes this could be a slippery slope.

In a tweet she said: “This is how it all started for derivatives back in the 1980s: OCC interpretive letters opining how it’s safe and wonderful to let banks deal in risky derivatives. Because innovation! And it’s “client stuff” anyway. Derivatives markets are HUGE now. Coincidence?”

In 2009, towards the end of the Global Financial Crisis, Omarova penned a paper on the topic, asking about the crisis: “How did we get here?”. She observed that the OCC, by “interpreting the National Bank Act of 1863 to allow banks to trade and deal in derivatives, potentially complex and risky financial instruments once famously characterized by Warren Buffet as “financial weapons of mass destruction.”

She argues that the OCC’s actions “served to undermine the integrity and efficacy of the U.S. system of bank regulation.” 

It’s not just that the derivatives market is largely blamed for the last crisis. Many don’t appreciate the sheer scale of the derivatives markets, which are more than seven times the size of equity markets. At the end of 2019, global equity markets were worth $94 trillion (source: WFE). By comparison, the derivatives market was $665 trillion if you include both over the counter (OTC) and exchange-traded. But it’s the OTC market where the most significant risks lie at $559 trillion (source: BIS).

The same risk?

The U.S. approached contrasts with other jurisdictions. For example, in Germany, banks have to apply to regulator BaFin for a digital asset custody license.

Regulators are fond of the notion “same risk, same regulation”. Is the risk of custodying digital assets the same as safe keeping physical assets in a vault? With the exception of cold wallets, which are not online, insurers don’t behave as if it is. 

 

来自: Ledger Insights