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US Senate authorizes Virginia banks to provide crypto custody services

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Delegate Christopher T. Head presented the bill (House Bill No. 263) in January 2022, seeking an amendment that would allow authorized institutions to provide cryptocurrency custody services.

The US Senate decisively passed a bill amendment request that currently enables regular banks in Virginia to offer virtual currency custody services.

Delegate Christopher T. Head (House Bill No. 263) submitted the bill (House Bill No. 263) in January 2022, proposing an amendment that would allow qualifying banks to provide crypto custody services:

“A bank may provide its customers with virtual currency custody services so long as the bank has 26 adequate protocols in place to effectively manage risks and comply with applicable laws.”

The bill was passed by the Virginia Senate with a resounding 39-0 vote and is currently seeking Governor Glenn Youngkin's approval. Banks that want to provide this service to their customers must follow three particular conditions specified in the bill: they must develop effective risk management systems, acquire sufficient insurance coverage, and create a crypto risk supervision system.

The Senate, on the other side, will necessitate that bank customers maintain direct management of their digital currency's public and private keys, stating:

“Acting in a fiduciary capacity, the bank shall require customers to transfer their virtual currencies to the control of the bank by creating new private keys to be held by the bank.”

In other states, like Wyoming, the law for a state-issued stablecoin has recently been introduced.

The House Committee on Financial Services discussed whether stablecoin and digital asset rules should be managed at the state or federal level just last month.

Patrick McHenry, a member of the ranking committee from North Carolina, has urged the committee to investigate state-level regulatory structures in place of a unified federal statute on stablecoins.

According to Jean Nellie Liang, the undersecretary for domestic finance at the Department of Treasury, U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoin issuers for both state and federally chartered banks should be bound by the same rules as covered by insurance depository institutions, citing a report from the President's Working Group on Financial Markets.

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