OCC’s Embrace of Digital Assets and Banks Opportunity to Integrate
The Office of the Comptroller of Currency’s (OCC) letter from July 2020 gives the green light to financial institutions to confidently develop their capabilities for handling digital assets and their associated applications. Treading carefully when implementing progressive technologies, banks require methods with a track record of legal and regulatory compliance, as well as trust in the security and availability of the technologies.
This step forward made by an official U.S. regulatory entity is directly translating to an increased appetite in digital currencies and their applications.
While this nudge is directing the industry’s sentiment in the right direction, we must also consider that banks were not prohibited from providing custody services for any particular type of asset. This includes electronic assets, with the condition that certain compliance and legal aspects were satisfied. As such, we can safely look towards existing use cases to see the benefits of leveraging blockchain-based technology. For example, the XRP Ledger has been continuously operating since 2012, enabling business and top financial institutions to deliver digital asset and blockchain solutions.
The XRP Ledger (XRPL) is an open-source, permissionless and decentralized blockchain technology that can settle transactions in 3-5 seconds. It has an associated digital asset, XRP, which is designed to facilitate fast and secure payments. The XRPL can be leveraged by everyone, including banks and financial institutions, to build and integrate new digital asset capabilities. A wealth of documentation, examples and more is available on xrpl.org for anyone looking to integrate, or simply seeking to learn more about the XRP Ledger.
Using XRP as a digital currency on the XRP Ledger offers numerous advantages over traditional ways of moving money around the world. This is because using XRP, value can be transferred almost instantly and without the need of a central intermediary—making it a convenient instrument in bridging different currencies quickly and efficiently. It is freely exchanged on the open market and used in the real world for enabling cross-border payments and microtransactions.
Compared to other blockchains, the XRP Ledger was built with sustainability and scalability in mind, leveraging a first-in-class consensus algorithm rather than a resource-intensive proof-of-work mechanism, the XRP Ledger can be adopted at scale without bottlenecks or reliance on excessive computational power or energy usage.
A built-in decentralized exchange allows for the quick and easy conversion to and from almost any asset, with XRP used to provide supplemental liquidity by “auto-bridging” between assets .
- “Certificate of Deposit” like accounts
- Advanced custody solutions for increased security
- Micropayments for vendors: pay as you go, settle once
If you’re interested in working on or building on top of the XRP Ledger, please visit xrpl.org to access a wealth of technical resources. If you’re interested in building next-generation infrastructure for cross-border payments and work on emerging financial technologies, then please join us.