Micheal Barr, the former member of Ripple’s advisory board, is set to become the United States’s next banking regulator, according to a report. Barr, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, will become the second person with crypto connections to head the Office of Currency Comptroller (OCC). The recently deceased Currency Comptroller Brian Brooks is a former Coinbase manager.
Biden Taps Comptroller with crypto ties
Barr’s likely appointment will come at the expense of law professor Mehrsa Baradaran, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing anonymous sources. However, the report indicates that Barr, who is currently the Dean of Public Order at the University of Michigan, was not available at the time of publication to confirm the reports.
Meanwhile, the same report states that during his previous tenure at the Treasury Department, Barr reportedly helped draft “the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, a major overhaul of financial regulation following the 2008-09 financial crisis.”
Right now, Barr’s nomination as the country’s next top banking regulator is the second time the Biden government has selected a person with some crypto background to head a regulator. A week before Barr’s alleged election, media reports indicated that the new administration would hire Gary Gensler as the next chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. During his tenure as head of the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, Gensler reportedly showed an appreciation in cryptocurrencies.
Meanwhile, crypto enthusiasts have reacted with measured optimism to Gensler and Barr’s rumored dates. Some say this could be a positive sign for the cryptocurrency market, but others warn that more needs to be done. It is not enough to have knowledgeable people at the helm. For example, Mercuryo.io co-founder Petr Kozyakov told news.Bitcoin.com that Gensler’s “deep background in cryptocurrency is a sign of a positive outlook for crypto.”
Even so, Kozyakov doubts the dates alone can end the uncertainty within the room. Instead, he insists that “a lot depends on the status of digital currencies: goods or securities”. According to Kozyakov, some of the current challenges in this area “could be resolved with the Digital Commodity Exchange Act, introduced by Texas Congressman Michael Conaway in late 2020.”
Similarly, Coinstelegram’s executive director Anna Tutova believes that Gary Gensler and Michael Barr’s backgrounds for crypto regulation are positive. She adds:
In general, nominations from people who are knowledgeable about crypto and financial technologies should be positive for the crypto industry.
Regarding Barr’s alleged nomination, Tutova believes he will continue to follow in Brooks’ footsteps. However, Tutova suggests that only a robust regulatory ecosystem, robust infrastructure, and robust investor protection will “lead to an influx of more private investors into the crypto industry and thus to an expansion of mass adoption”.
What do you think of the alleged appointment of Micheal Barr as head of the OCC? You can share your views in the comments section below.
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