Banking Regulator Seeks Revised Criteria for Stablecoin Risk Assessment. 

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Today after a year’s talk and review the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision (BCBS) has set its sights on reshaping how stablecoins are viewed in the crypto landscape. Indeed a big step towards crypto assets which are facing the heat of SEC’s regulations and manipulative actions.

In a recent document, the global banking regulator outlined plans to revise criteria that determine the risk treatment of stablecoins versus volatile cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. This move seeks to reevaluate the preferential risk status bestowed upon stablecoins, aiming for a tighter alignment with traditional assets in the eyes of banking institutions.

Contextualizing BCBS’s Revisions

Presently, the BCBS maintains a strict stance on cryptocurrencies, recommending a staggering maximum risk weight of 1,250% for free-floating digital assets like Bitcoin. This necessitates that banks allocate substantial capital to match their exposure to these riskier assets. Yet, the Committee had previously granted preferential Group 1b regulatory treatment to stablecoins due to their perceived “effective stabilization mechanisms.”

However, the proposed revisions signal a shift in this leniency. Stablecoins will now face more rigorous criteria to retain their preferential treatment. One of the key requirements will be continuous redemption availability, ensuring that stablecoins are redeemable at all times. This criterion aims to uphold robust redemption rights and governance, emphasizing that only stablecoins issued by supervised and regulated entities meeting stringent standards will qualify for this favorable risk treatment.

Impact on Banking Institutions

These changes hold significant implications for banks, potentially influencing how they classify and allocate capital for stablecoins. The goal is to bring stablecoins closer in risk weight to traditional assets under the established Basel Framework. While the revisions don’t alter the stringent requirements for assets like Bitcoin, they underscore a shift toward a more stringent evaluation of stablecoin risk profiles. The BCBS’s primary focus remains to ensure that stablecoins meet rigorous regulatory standards to merit preferential treatment, thereby aligning them more closely with conventional assets in the eyes of banking regulations.

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