Ripple Advisor Michael Barr Appointed Auditor of Currency: Report

Former Ripple Advisory Board member Michael Barr is expected to be nominated to replace Brian Brooks as Comptroller of the Currency.

If the Wall Street Journal’s January 20 report is correct, it would mean a second consecutive U.S. banking regulator will have a link to the cryptocurrency industry.

Brian Brooks’ OCC run was good for crypto (Photo: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency)

It would also mean the Biden Administration’s auditor would be affiliated with a company being sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission for illegally selling an unregistered security – XRP – for a period of more than seven years.

In failing to register XRP as a security, Ripple and two officers have “withheld from potential buyers adequate disclosures about XRP and Ripple’s business and other important long-term protections that are fundamental to our resilient public market system,” said Stephanie, director the SEC Enforcement Division Avakian in a Dec. 22 statement.

Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, denies the allegations, saying the company plans to vigorously fight the allegations.

The price of XRP jumped shortly after news of Barr’s impending appointment, but quickly retreated to the $ 0.27-0.29 corridor, where the # 5 cryptocurrency by market cap has spent much of the past 10 days Has.

Big shoes to fill

Brooks stepped down as acting head of the auditor’s office on Jan. 14, ending an eight-month tenure during which Coinbase’s former general counsel had made a number of key pro-crypto decisions. Specifically, granting a national banking charter to Anchorage crypto custodians and authorizing banks to use stablecoins to make payments on behalf of customers.

The CEO of USDC stablecoin issuer Circle, Jeremy Allaire, said the importance of the decision of the 6th on all forms of payments and settlement. “

Brooks’ “strong advocacy” for incorporating financial technology companies into mainstream banking led financial insiders to call him “the nation’s first fintech comptroller,” according to American Banker. It wasn’t a compliment.

How much of that advocacy Barr will bring to the office – assuming he is actually appointed head of the currency’s auditor’s office – remains to be seen.

Barr joined Ripple’s advisory board in 2015. At the time, he said the “global payments system is severely out of date. I think innovations in payments can help make the financial system more secure, reduce costs, and improve access and efficiency for consumers and businesses alike, ”it said in a statement.

Barr was previously Assistant Treasury Secretary for Financial Institutions under President Barak Obama, where he helped draft the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which included major reforms to financial regulations following the 2008-2009 mortgage crisis.

He is currently the Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Barr is also a professor in the law school, where he taught financial regulation and international finance and co-founded the school’s International Transactions Clinic.

Barr also serves as a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank based in Washington, DC

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