The crypto venue has met with the OCC to explore a banking charter that would allow it o hold reserves with the Fed, natively access the central-banking system without intermediaries, and settle with other banks in a bid to improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of its crypto services.
“You’re able to have a single conversation,” said Robert Bench, Circle’s chief compliance officer. “It’s hard to have 50 conversations.” Circle officials say they’ve had preliminary conversations with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to explore banking functions, as well as with staff at the SEC and officials from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which oversees brokerages. The firm is likely to pursue SEC regulation before the banking license. The OCC and Finra declined to comment. SEC spokesmen didn’t respond to requests for comment.