Basel Committee Finalizes Rules for Bank Exposure to Cryptocurrency Assets

The Basel Committee, the organization in charge of setting global bank standards, has finalized its new rules related to banks and cryptocurrency exposure. The document establishes two different crypto asset classes, including tokenized real assets and stablecoins in one, and other cryptocurrencies in another, discriminating on the collateral and quantity that banks might hold for each one.

Basel Committee Defines Final Rules for Crypto Exposure

As banks have stepped into the realm of cryptocurrency services, standards organizations are now defining the ways in which traditional financial institutions will be able to hold crypto. The Basel Committee, which is the standards-setting organization for banks at a worldwide level, has finalized the rules which will define requirements for banks to be allowed to have cryptocurrency exposure, dividing the assets into two different groups.

The first group includes stablecoins and tokenized assets, while the second one includes other cryptocurrencies.

Among the new directives announced on Dec. 16 by the institution, is the establishment of the maximum amount of crypto that banks can have. This is recommended to be 1% of their Tier 1 capital, which includes the core assets of such institutions such as reserves and stocks. However, the Basel Committee sets 2% as the maximum amount of crypto that banks will be able to hold.

Stablecoins, which are part of the first group, have to comply with strict rules to be considered as such, and will not be able to be received as collateral.

Evolution of the Framework

This new group of rules is the result of the third consultation among members of the group, after receiving heavy criticism for some of the decisions adopted as part of the second iteration of this ruleset, that was published on June 30. For example, the most recent version of the document includes cryptocurrency asset hedging, and sets a 100% capital charge for it, while in the earlier version there was no mention of this.

About the importance of this crypto framework, Pablo Hernandez de Cos, chairman of the Basel Committee and Governor of the Bank of Spain, stated:

The Committee’s standard on cryptoassets is a further example of our commitment, willingness and ability to act in a globally coordinated way to mitigate emerging financial stability risks.

In October, the Basel Committee determined that banks around the world were exposed to $9 billion worth of cryptocurrency assets.

The cryptocurrency-related rules will begin to be applied on Jan. 1, 2025, and will be subject to more changes as the committee monitors the behavior of the crypto situation with banks.

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Sergio Goschenko

Sergio is a cryptocurrency journalist based in Venezuela. He describes himself as late to the game, entering the cryptosphere when the price rise happened during December 2017. Having a computer engineering background, living in Venezuela, and being impacted by the cryptocurrency boom at a social level, he offers a different point of view about crypto success and how it helps the unbanked and underserved.

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