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Crypto highlighted as ‘novel and complex’ risk to US banks: FDIC report

A leading U.S. financial regulator has sounded the alarm on the looming risks posed by crypto-assets and their associated activities to the nation’s banking system. Breaking new ground, cryptocurrency secured its own dedicated segment within the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) annual risk review, underlining the gravity of the situation and the need for intensified vigilance.

Uncharted Territory: Crypto’s Novel and Complex Risks

In a groundbreaking step, the FDIC’s Risk Review 2023 report catapults the digital frontier of crypto-assets into the spotlight, categorizing these risks as “novel and complex.” As a stark testament to the growing banking industry interest in crypto activities, this report bears witness to the FDIC’s concerns as they address cryptocurrency in a dedicated section for the very first time.

The tumultuous ride of the crypto market in 2022 did not go unnoticed by the FDIC. With significant market volatility as the backdrop, the regulator underscores the need for a deeper understanding of the inherent risks tethered to crypto-related activities. The ever-evolving landscape of digital assets, with its inherent complexities and intricacies, adds a layer of uncertainty that requires closer scrutiny.

Inherent Risks and Interconnectedness: Crypto’s Dual-Edged Sword

Within this labyrinth of crypto risks, the FDIC identifies key areas that demand immediate attention. The cloud of uncertainty that envelops the legal status of cryptocurrencies looms large, casting a shadow on the regulatory landscape. The specter of fraud and the potential for contagion and concentration risks stemming from the intricate web of crypto businesses raises red flags of concern.

The dynamic and swiftly evolving nature of cryptocurrencies amplifies the complexity of risk assessment. Innovation marches forward at a relentless pace, making it challenging to predict the repercussions and vulnerabilities that may emerge in this ever-evolving domain.

Stablecoins and Run-Risk Susceptibility: A New Dimension of Concern

The FDIC’s report further spotlights the Achilles’ heel of stablecoins. These seemingly steadfast digital assets, the lynchpin of financial stability, are not immune to run-risk susceptibility. The report highlights the potential for deposit outflows that could unravel the delicate fabric of stablecoin holding banks.

This cautionary tale gains weight in the wake of the March banking crisis, a period that witnessed the swift demise or enforced closure of Silicon Valley Bank, Silvergate Bank, and Signature Bank within a span of just one week. Notably, these institutions were prominent players in servicing the U.S. crypto industry. The cascading effects of these closures rippled through the market, causing panic sell-offs and triggering seismic shifts in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

In response, the FDIC and other regulatory entities stepped in as guardians, orchestrating the sale of assets to other financial institutions, averting a potentially catastrophic chain reaction.

A Wake-Up Call for Vigilance

The FDIC’s Risk Review 2023 resonates as a clarion call, piercing through the din of the financial landscape. As the world of crypto-assets marches forward with unabated momentum, the regulator’s insistence on heightened scrutiny and vigilance reverberates as a critical mandate. It’s a landscape where novelty and complexity converge, where innovation and uncertainty coexist, and where the balance between risk and reward teeters on a precipice.

In the ever-changing arena of finance, the echoes of the FDIC’s warning are clear—a clarifying note in the symphony of the digital age, a reminder that the path forward must be navigated with prudence, understanding, and unwavering vigilance.


Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. Crypto is not a legal tender and is subject to market risks. Readers are advised to seek expert advice and read offer document(s) along with related important literature on the subject carefully before making any kind of investment whatsoever. Crypto market predictions are speculative and any investment made shall be at the sole cost and risk of the readers.