The Biden Administration Is Considering Cryptocurrency Critic For Head OCC Position
US President Joe Biden is reportedly considering nominating a crypto critic as the head of the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC).
Saule To Put Crypto And Big Bank To The Sword
Currently headed by Michael Hsu, on an interim basis, the OCC is the regulatory body responsible for supervising the bank sector in the world’s largest economy. It was previously led by the crypto proponent and former Coinbase legal adviser Brian Brooks during the Donald Trump era.
With calls for crypto regulation growing louder in Washington, the Biden administration is looking to clamp down on the excesses of the nascent industry.
According to a Bloomberg report, President Biden is planning to nominate Saule Omarova for the vacant position. Omarova, a Kazakhstan-American, is a serving law professor and academic at the Cornell University Law School. She specializes in banking law and corporate finance.
According to sources familiar with the situation, the Bloomberg report notes that her nomination could be as early as this week.
Omarova is a well-known critic of the crypto industry and the traditional banking sector and is keen to “end banking as we know it.” She has also made scathing remarks about cryptocurrencies, noting that the digital assets are “benefiting mainly the dysfunctional financial system we already have.”
With Omarova as OCC head, stricter regulatory oversight of the crypto space is expected. She is known to have pointed out that blockchain-based assets threaten the economy’s financial stability. According to her, the emerging industry is primed for abuse by large private financial entities.
She also recommended that consumer banking services should be in the sole custody of the Federal Reserve rather than in the hands of private financial bodies.
The OCC was a major supporter of the crypto space while Brian Brooks was in charge.
The government agency empowered legacy-based banking institutional to provide custodial services for digital assets. Also, the interpretive letter permitted banks to participate in validating stablecoin transactions or Independent Node Verification Networks (INVN) in a blockchain network.
Crypto Regulatory Storm Brewing
Analysts are convinced that Omarova will not breeze into the position without some hurdles. This is because the Democrats hold a slim majority in the Senate, and the banks are likely going to lobby against her assuming the post.
Be that as it may, the calls for regulating the crypto industry is growing by the day. Former MIT blockchain instructor turned US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler has criticized the crypto space noting that it is “rife with fraud and abuse.”
Aside from the SEC Chair, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is also an anti-crypto supporter and has criticized the industry for aiding and abetting crimes ranging from money laundering to terrorist financing.