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US Bank will launch crypto custody, pending compliance tests

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Per an April 27 blog post, U.S. Bank is finalizing cryptocurrency custody services.

The actual announcement says that the new services are contingent upon the selection of a sub-custodian to contract under U.S. Bank.

Christine Waldron, Chief Global Strategy Officer for Global Fund Services at U.S. Bank, told The Block "We have made the selection. We're working through our operational integration and our risk and compliance process." There is, however, no confirmed timeframe for when these services will go live. 

By assets under management, U.S. Bank is one of the largest in the country. The firm's blockchain and crypto practice dates back to 2015. Those services have expanded in recent months, thanks in no small part to new guidance from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. 

In the middle of 2020, the OCC under Brian Brooks authorized national banks in the U.S. to custody crypto, following which the OCC began issuing national banking charters to crypto-native firms including custodian Anchorage and Paxos

Leadership at the OCC has changed, however, and there is political pressure, especially from Congressional Democrats, to undo the legacy of Brooks and his predecessor Joseph Otting.

Regarding this concern for crypto services, Waldron said: “We are moving forward based off of the most current guidance that we have. That’s the most important piece."

Alongside the announcement of coming custody, U.S. Bank also highlighted its role in Securrency's recent fundraising round and said it would be administering NYDIG's much-anticipated Bitcoin ETF, pending approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission.  

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