The payments landscape for community banks is changing rapidly as traditional payments converge with new instant payment systems and emerging cryptocurrencies. It is critical for Community Banks to maintain awareness of developments in the payments space to assess new opportunities, mitigate risks, and ensure that their payment strategy aligns with overall business plans.
Financial regulators on Tuesday began cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges and laid out significant concerns with digital assets.
Sanctions: The Treasury Department announced the first-ever sanctions on a crypto exchange—Russia-based SUEX—as part of a government-wide effort to combat ransomware attacks. Treasury said over 40% of SUEX’s known transaction history is associated with illicit actors.
Ransomware: More broadly, Treasury said virtual currency exchanges are critical to the profitability of ransomware attacks and that it will continue targeting these entities to reduce incentives for cybercriminals.
OCC’s Hsu: Also Tuesday, Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu revealed deep skepticism of digital asset innovations in remarks to the Blockchain Association. Among his remarks, Hsu said: