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The Economics and Finance Letters

December 2021, Volume 8, 2, pp 154-158

On the OCC Announcement Allowing US Banks to Use Stablecoins and the Immediate Impact on Cryptocurrency Valuations

Mark Schaub

Mark Schaub 1

  1. Professor of Finance Department of Economics and Finance, SFA Station Stephen F. Austin State University Nacogdoches, TX, USA. 1

on Google Scholar
on PubMed

Pages: 154-158

DOI: 10.18488/journal.29.2021.82.154.158

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Article History:

Received: 10 February, 2021
Revised: 15 March, 2021
Accepted: 07 April, 2021
Published: 28 April, 2021


On January 4, 2021 the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), a major regulator of financial institutions in the United States, announced that federally chartered banks and thrifts were now allowed to utilize stablecoins as payment instruments. Much research and many discussions have revolved around policies of governments worldwide in how to handle the new cryptocurrency phenomenon. The purpose of this short study was to observe the valuation impact of that announcement on the three largest cryptocurrencies and two others. Research findings show the altcoins with valuations not tied to the dollar had substantial increases in value while the stablecoins, which the announcement specified are now allowed to be used by banks, changed very little. Specifically, Bitcoin and Etherium increased over 20% in value within 5 days of the announcement while the stablecoins Tether and USDCoin changed in value by no more than 0.10% for the same event window. This shows that stablecoins lived up to their name even though they were promoted as an acceptable payment system in the US.
Contribution/ Originality
This study contributes to the existing cryptocurrency and event-study literature by examining the impact of an announcement by a major banking regulator in the United States upon the valuation of popular cryptocurrencies. Despite being plugged as acceptable payment methods in the US, stablecoins had no significant changes in value.


Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies, Stablecoins, Market efficiency, Bank regulation, Event studies.


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Nakamoto, S. (2008). Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system. Retrieved from

OCC. (2021a). Federally chartered banks and thrifts may participate in independent node verification networks and use stablecoins for payment activities. OCC News Release 2021-2. Retrieved from: .

OCC. (2021b). OCC Chief counsel’s interpretation on national bank and federal savings associa-tion authority to use independent node verification networks and stablecoins for payment activi-ties. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Interpretive Letter 1174, January 2021. Retrievced from: .

Schaub, M. (2017). A note on the early effects of the US presidential vote on mexican ADR val-ues. Journal of Asset Management, 18(7), 511–515. Available at:

Schaub, M., & Phares, H. B. (2020). Cryptocurrency value changes in response to national elec-tions: Do they behave like money or commodities? Applied Economics Letters, 27(14), 1135-1140. Available at:

Shanaev, S., Sharma, S., Ghimire, B., & Shuraeva, A. (2020a). Taming the blockchain beast? Regulatory implications for the cryptocurrency market. Research in International Business and Finance, 51(C), 101080. Available at:

Shanaev, S., Shuraeva, A., Vasenin, M., & Kuznetsov, M. (2020b). Cryptocurrency value and 51% attacks: Evidence from event studies. Journal of Alternative Investments, 22(3), 65-77. Available at:


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This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The author declares that there are no conflicts of interests regarding the publication of this paper.


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