A number of members of Congress sent a letter to the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) on Tuesday. I have embedded it below but readers via email may need to click here to read it.
These elected officials are correct that way too many people in the US are unbanked or underbanked. They are also correct that community banks and minority owned banks are closing at a rapid rate, which is contributing to these alarming unbanked and underbanked numbers.
However, I think that the OCC and, more importantly, the crypto industry, owe these elected officials an education on how crypto can address these important issues and why it is not a distraction from them.
In the letter, the members of congress mention “the immediate needs of millions of at-risk individuals who have not yet received an economic stimulus check and/or cannot deposit their funds in a bank.”
If the United States was developing (as is China), a digital currency stablecoin (a digital dollar), then those millions of at-risk individuals would have been able to receive their economic stimulus funds via any one of the popular mobile apps that support or will soon support digital assets, like Coinbase, Square, PayPal, Robinhood, and many more.
It would have been less expensive (by an order of magnitude or more) and much simpler to get funds to these at-risk individuals with blockchain based assets vs outdated technologies like paper checks.
I am not taking a swipe at these well-meaning elected officials. I am saying that the crypto sector needs to sit down with them and their staffs, pull out their phones, have them do the same, and send them some money. And then talk about regulations that will accelerate the adoption of these new technologies among the at-risk communities instead of what we have now which are regulations that are holding all of this progress back.