Washington D.C. law firm Cooper & Kirk have published a whitepaper detailing efforts of U.S. regulators to take down the crypto industry.
In a 37-page paper published on March 27, Cooper & Kirk presented evidence that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Federal Reserve Board, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) are waging a secret financial war against crypto.
The law firm dubbed these efforts “Operation Choke Point 2.0,” because of its glaring similarities to the first Operation Choke Point aimed at politically unpopular businesses in the financial system.
Banking agencies have put out informal guidance on crypto customers as ones that pose a higher risk to banks and more and more firms in the industry have lost access to the ACH payment network in the recent weeks.
The recent closure of Signature Bank, one of the largest banking partners to crypto firms, came as a shock to many industry watchers earlier this month. The decision to shutter Signature’s $4 billion digital asset business, instead of including it in the sale to Flagstar further suggested to market participants that it was part of a wider effort to curtail crypto businesses’ operations.
Cooper & Kirk successfully sued the FDIC, Federal Reserve, and OCC over the original Operation Choke Point which strong-armed banks into cutting ties with payday lenders and other small businesses categorized as high risk for fraud and money laundering.
“It looks like that time has come, and crypto is now the industry with a target on its back,” said David H. Thompson, an attorney who was involved in the first litigation of Operation Choke Point.
“Congress must once again hold the federal banking regulators to account and ensure that this Operation Choke Point 2.0 is exposed and brought to an immediate halt, just like version 1.0,” he said.