Paxos Gets OCC Approval for a Bank Charter

Digital asset services firm Paxos has been conditionally approved for an OCC bank charter and cleared to create an entirely new bank.

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Charles Cascarilla, Paxos CEO and co-founder

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key takeaways

  • Paxos is the third entity to receive conditional approval for an OCC bank charter
  • The New York-based digital asset services company is the first to achieve “de novo” status, allowing it to set up a completely new bank in addition to its current trust

Paxos has been conditionally approved for a bank charter from the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), becoming the first crypto firm to get the green light to create an entirely new bank. 

The charter will allow Paxos to easily conduct business across the country. The approval means Paxos will be able to operate two trusts, potentially by the end of next year, one under a national bank charter, one under the New York BitLicense.

This is the third such charter the OCC, which oversees bank charters and structure, has conditionally approved. In January digital assets custody firm Anchorage received a license, allowing it to operate as a “crypto bank” and the following month Protego, a digital asset trust company focused on institutional investors, became the second.

Paxos is the first to have a “de novo” application to be cleared, however, allowing it to set up a completely new bank in addition to its current trust, which operates under the New York State Department of Financial Services BitLicense.

The New-York based Paxos applied for the charter in December after quietly becoming a staple of the crypto ecosystem. Paxos provides services that support PayPal’s cryptocurrency offerings and offers tokenized versions of traditional assets like gold and corporate shares. 

The OCC’s former head Brian Brooks left his position with the agency in January. Brooks, who was known as one of very few crypto-advocates at the OCC, is set to become the new CEO of Binance’s US operations on May 1.

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