1/ 🚨 BREAKING: US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency proposes rule prohibiting large banks from discriminating against "legal but disfavored" customers like oil & gas biz, independent ATM operators and of course...

crypto companies.
2/ Crypto OGs know the single greatest impediment to widespread adoption has been and continues to be the lack of access to banking services.

In its early days, Bitcoin was caught up in Operation Chokepoint, and crypto more broadly is still caught up today
3/ Operation Chokepoint is a long-standing effort by political powers to cripple the growth of industries that were perfectly legal, but that they found distasteful.
4/ Instead of getting congress to pass a bill outlawing the industry, they just got regulators to make their lives tough by leaning on the banks to shut down their accounts.
5/ First it was adult industries, then non-bank financial services, then of course... bitcoin companies and now crypto companies more broadly.
6/ Today, the OCC, led by @BrianBrooksOCC is making a bold effort to curtail the practice by prohibiting banks from discriminating against politically disfavored but otherwise legal businesses
7/ The OCC just published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would outlaw such discrimination: occ.treas.gov/news-issuances…
8/ It applies only to large banks (which is quite sensible if you think about who the culprits are, and the relative costs of compliance) and it doesn't demand that banks enter lines of business for which they aren't prepared.
9/ I will do a deeper dive in short order but at the outset this strikes me as an idea whose time has come.

If you want to make law, go to congress and get it made.

Don't weaponize the whims of unelected, unaccountable officials to persecute the powerless.
10/ Wow check out the language:

"To provide fair access to financial services", a bank shall:

-"make each financial service it offers available to all persons... served, on proportionally equal terms"
11/ "To provide fair access to financial services", a bank shall:

-"not deny any person a financial service...except [as] justified by such person's quantified and documented failure to meet quantitative, impartial risk-based standards established in advance[!]"
12/ " "To provide fair access to financial services", a bank shall:

-"not deny any person a service when it... would disadvantage the person... from... competing in a market...or ...such a way that benefits another person [in which the bank itself has a financial interest]
13/ "To provide fair access to financial services", a bank shall:

-not deny, in coordination with others, any person a financial service the bank offers
14/ This proposed rule reads like a basic bill of rights for bank customers - one that you'd be shocked to hear didn't already exist.

Given the broad monopoly granted to banks today, we should be asking ourselves why on earth this bill of rights doesn't already exist.
15/ Libertarians, conservatives and the like might wonder to themselves "wait why should the government get to tell a private bank who it must and must not service?"
16/ Well, it was the gov that granted the banks monopoly power over banking in the first place. If you support a free market, why object to the gov limiting the discretion of the monopolist?

This proposal reins in the abusive consequences of the monopoly.
17/ Should democrats and other left-leaners object? Goodness I hope not. It's these very same abusive consequences that drive up the prices of basic financial services (check cashing, payday lending...) for those who need them most!
18/ So school me: Besides the purveyors of national chokepoints, who should object to this?

Just type your response here. Don't respond to the OCC with your comment. Just do it all right here in the safety of my crypto twitter thread. Where it can't hurt anyone 😜

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More from @msantoriESQ

16 Sep

@Krakenfx just won approval to create America’s first crypto bank.

World, please meet Kraken Financial. Kraken Financial, world.

Wait, a what? Kraken is a BANK?! How did this even happen?!

Allow me to threadeth. 👇
2. It all begins on this island call Yap

Heh, actually it begins in Delaware! You might remember from back in 2016 the Delaware Blockchain Initiative, an effort to build a bridge between a US state and the crypto industry.
3. We announced it at Consensus’ keynote that year coindesk.com/delaware-gover…. Then-governor Jack Markell made a joke about being Satoshi. He laughed. The audience laughed. Somebody did an ICO in the background. It was a simpler time.
Read 31 tweets
13 Jul
1/ BREAKING 🚨 popular crypto app Abra charged by and settles with SEC for offering securities swaps. This is interesting for a few reasons. Short thread follows.
2/ According to the SEC's order, Abra was offering Robinhood-like securities trading, except there were no actual stocks under the hood.

Users would simply bet on the price movement of the stock without actually owning it (or owning an entitlement to it)
3/ This in itself isn't shady of course. They were offering a "derivative" - a product that is useful for many purposes including (i) hedging and (ii) betting.

In this instance, SEC seems to take the position that it was mostly the latter.
Read 17 tweets
6 Feb
1/ 🚨BREAKING🚨: SEC Commissioner @HesterPierce today publicly proposed a safe harbor for token sellers building decentralized networks.

It is an elegant solution to the most complex legal challenge of this crypto era.

Thread is go.👇
@HesterPierce 2/ The proposal seems straightforward: So long as you, dear token seller, comply with the securities laws in selling the token initially, you've got 3 years to get the network off the ground, during which SEC won't come after you.

Could it really be that simple? Read on.
@HesterPierce 3/ Recall that, to sell securities in the US, the law requires you to register them with the SEC (e.g. an "IPO"), which is an expensive and lengthy process, or rely on an exemption.

(usually Regulation D for private placements to accredited investors, or Reg S for offshore sales
Read 19 tweets
28 Jan
1/ For the first time in a long time, I'm at a traditional-investor-focused crypto event. Been a long time not because I don't like them or don't see ROI, but because they'd become more rare post-2017. Are we seeing the beginning of a renaissance? Some interesting perspectives...
2/ for example, this slide by @ARKInvest laying bare the cultural canyon between east and west coast crypto views
3/ "the fallacy of the crypto fund"
Read 7 tweets
9 Oct 19

1/ IRS releases long-awaited guidance on crypto forks and airdrops.

It is not good.

Begin thread send tweet 👇
2/ The new guidance covers two circumstances: airdropped coins and forked coins. Sadly, it seems to confuse the two, assuming that airdrops and forks often occur at the same time or are otherwise functionally related.
3/ First, IRS says "If your cryptocurrency went through a hard fork, but you did not receive any new cryptocurrency", then no tax due. Wait, what?
Read 21 tweets
30 Sep 19
1/ 🚨SEC drops the hammer on Block.one. Does this mean EOS is a security now? Why is the penalty so small compared to the size of the ICO? Must exchanges de-list? Can I really do two tweet tempests in a single day? Answers below👇
2/ Today, SEC published its order instituting Cease and Desist Proceedings against Block one, the creators and sellers of the EOS token. SEC says the token was a security.
3/ B1 says... that they're "excited" to be done with the matter. I gotta be honest, I'd be happy too. Not sure I'd be "excited" but, this strikes me as well-handled by the lawyers defending the company.
Read 21 tweets

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