In brief

  • Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks said that regulators "are very focused on not killing" the crypto industry.
  • US regulators also have no plans to ban Bitcoin, he reassured.
  • Brooks also hinted at some "very positive messages" for crypto by the end of Donald Trump's term.

Speaking with CNBC’s Squawk Box today, Brian Brooks, Acting Comptroller of the Currency in the US—and former chief legal officer at Coinbase—somewhat debunked recent rumors about the Treasury’s plans to introduce some new undisclosed crypto regulations.

Squawk Box’s Melissa Lee cited a series of tweets published by Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong recently, in which he said that “we heard rumors that the US Treasury and Secretary Mnuchin were planning to rush out some new regulation regarding self-hosted crypto wallets before the end of his term.”

Replying, Brooks didn’t explicitly refute the rumors—but noted that regulators really want to “get this right.”

“We're very focused on getting this right. We are very focused on not killing this, and it is equally important that we develop the networks behind Bitcoin and other cryptos as it is we prevent money laundering and terrorism financing,” Brooks told CNBC.

He also added that “there is a balance here and it’s gonna work for everybody.” When asked directly about whether there will be any new regulations by the end of Donald Trump’s term, Brooks hinted that “you’re gonna see a lot of good news for crypto.”

Nobody is banning Bitcoin

"So believe me, there's gonna be very positive messages coming out. At the same time, it's a dangerous world out there, we have to be honest about that. But nobody's gonna ban Bitcoin, nobody's gonna ban some of these transmission technologies," he reassured the audience.

In late November, the Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Jay Clayton told CNBC that Bitcoin could face more regulation as a payment method.

“I think we’re going to see this mature, and I think we’re going to see more regulation around the payments space,” said Clayton.

On the other hand, the regulator recently made it easier for crypto startups to raise funds.