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Custodia CEO questions the controversy surrounding FedNow launch

TL;DR

  • Custodia Bank CEO calls out controversial inclusion in the early adopter’s list.
  • Regulatory transparency and the challenges surrounding FinTechs.

On the same day the Federal Reserve announced the launch of its FedNow instant payment service, an intriguing revelation caught the attention of Caitlin Long, CEO of Custodia Bank. FedNow allows real-time, always-on money transfers within its interbank system, but Long noticed an unusual aspect among the list of early adopters. Adyen, an Amsterdam-based company, was among the 35 banks and credit unions with access to the service, despite having reportedly received its federal master account in July 2020, a year before being approved to establish a U.S. branch.

Custodia CEO questions the situation

Long raised a crucial question on Twitter, questioning how a fintech company acquired a Fed master account, which qualifies it to clear US dollar payments at the Fed. She highlighted that the Federal Reserve had been perceived as keeping fintech out of such access, making Adyen’s inclusion puzzling.

The situation adds complexity to Long’s ongoing struggle to secure a federal master account for her crypto bank, Custodia. The master account would grant Custodia access to the Fedwire network, which facilitated over 200 million transfers totaling more than $1 quadrillion in 2022. However, Long highlighted that the criteria for institutions to qualify for access to the network have been unclear.

Custodia CEO’s concerns are compounded by the fact that Adyen doesn’t identify itself as a bank in its press release, leading her to question the Federal Reserve’s compliance with regulations. She asserts that Adyen’s inclusion as a European private company falls short of meeting the Federal Reserve’s requirements to become a payment provider in the U.S.

Custodia’s repeated rejections in obtaining master accounts have further fueled Long’s frustration, as she deems the process not only unlawful but also “un-American.” This issue reflects the broader conflicts surrounding the digital asset industry, with several banks and companies associated with the sector facing, collapses over the past year. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has also taken a hardline stance against numerous crypto projects, adding to the turmoil in the sector.

Regulatory transparency and the challenges surrounding FinTechs

Long’s observations lead her to believe that U.S. fintech companies may feel disheartened by the disparity in access to the Fed’s master accounts. The situation raises important questions about transparency and the regulatory framework surrounding fintech and digital asset projects in the United States.

As the crypto industry continues to grow and evolve, the struggle for regulatory clarity remains an ongoing challenge. Both fintech companies and traditional financial institutions seek a level playing field and clear guidelines to navigate the complex regulatory landscape. Achieving compliance while fostering innovation is crucial for the industry’s development and widespread adoption.

The inclusion of Adyen in the FedNow service launch further underscores the need for transparent and consistent criteria for accessing the Federal Reserve’s systems. Fintech companies play an increasingly vital role in the global financial ecosystem, and their integration into traditional banking infrastructure requires a well-defined regulatory approach.

The SEC’s heightened scrutiny of crypto projects and the ongoing challenges in securing master accounts highlight the pressing need for open dialogue and collaboration between regulatory bodies and industry stakeholders. As the crypto landscape continues to evolve, finding a balance between oversight and fostering innovation will be critical to ensuring the industry’s long-term sustainability and responsible growth.

In the face of the ever-changing financial landscape, it is essential for regulators and industry participants to work together to shape a regulatory framework that supports innovation, fosters competition, and safeguards the interests of all stakeholders. Only through constructive engagement and transparent regulations can the digital asset industry continue to thrive and contribute to the future of global finance.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Owotunse Adebayo

Adebayo loves to keep tab of exciting projects in the blockchain space. He is a seasoned writer who has written tons of articles about cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

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