The United States Acting Comptroller of the Currency, Brian Brooks, recently explained in an interview with CNN why the crypto “phenomenon” cannot be ignored and expressed his willingness to embrace fintech solutions.
Brooks, who was formerly Chief Legal Officer at Coinbase, the biggest US exchange for cryptocurrencies, believes that banks need to innovate in order to keep up. He’s already granted a banking licence to a fintech company and stated that the lack of an instant payment solution in the U.S. banking system led to millions of payments to be made outside of it, through companies such as PayPal, Stripe and Square.
“My vision is that we need to get to a place in this country where payments can be transmitted virtually instantaneously, where errors can be eliminated and it turns out technology exists today that can help us do that, so we need to get there I think sooner rather than later.”
Brooks is open to allowing banks for the first time to hold cryptocurrency digital assets for safe keeping and also raised for discussion the possibility of a future Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) issued by private companies and backed by bank deposits. He also said:
“I think the best solution … is to have faster payments that are innovated by private companies that are supervised by Federal watchdogs like us. That is what I think the future looks like.”
He talked about the need for faster payment solutions and said that “this is a time when the Americans are depending on the banking system more than they ever had before” due to the recent issuing of coronavirus benefit payments that were sent across as “19th century banking rails.”