Brian Brooks, who was appointed temporary head of the Office of the Currency Auditor (OCC) last summer, made the announcement the day after he was rumored to be leaving.
His departure will take place one day after the Anchorage Federal Banking Authority has issued a conditional trust, making it the first crypto-indigenous national bank.
“It was a great honor to serve as the United States’ assistant currency auditor,” Brooks said in a statement emailed through a spokesman. “The Office of the Currency Auditor (OCC) is the most extraordinary federal agency with the most dedicated, professional, and talented people any executive can hope for. I am very proud of what we have achieved together in extraordinary times. “
Under Brooks, the OCC published a number of interpretative letters on how national banks can interact with the cryptocurrency space, paying special attention to stablecoins and their issuers. However, during a public seminar organized by the analyst firm Elliptic, he said much of that work began before he arrived at the agency in March last year.
Coinbase’s former chief legal officer has stated on multiple occasions that he believes digital assets and blockchain technology can lay the foundation for the future of the financial system, a view he reiterated during the seminar.
“Blockchains are basically banking because they enable value transactions across networks … they do it in an orthogonally different way,” he said on Wednesday in his swan song in public offices.
It is unclear who could win new President Joe Biden to replace Brooks. The OCC announced that Chief Operating Officer Blake Paulson will become the new acting controller in the meantime. Davis Polk law firm said in a public presentation Wednesday that Brooks’ digital asset custody efforts are unlikely to be overturned by his successor, although further digital currency efforts may be slowed.