Micheal Barr, former member of Ripple’s board of advisers, is set to become the United States’ next banking regulator, according to a report. Barr, a former assistant to the treasury secretary, becomes the second person with crypto connections to lead the Office of Currency Comptroller (OCC.). The recently departed Currency Comptroller Brian Brooks is a former Coinbase manager.
Biden taps Comptroller with Crypto ties
According to a Wall Street Journal report, citing anonymous sources, Barr’s appointment will likely come at the expense of Mehrsa Baradaran, a law professor. Still, the report reveals that Barr, who is currently the dean of public policy at the University of Michigan, was not available to confirm the reports at the time of publication.
Meanwhile, the same report explains that during his previous stint at the US Treasury, Barr allegedly helped draft “the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, a major overhaul of financial regulations that followed the 2008 financial crisis- 2009 “.
Right now, the tapping of Barr as the country’s next foremost banking regulator marks the second time the Biden administration has selected a person with a crypto background to lead a regulatory body. A week before the rumors of Barr’s selection, media reports had suggested that the new administration would line up Gary Gensler as the next chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. During his time as head of the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, Gensler reportedly showed an appreciation of cryptocurrencies.
In the meantime, crypto enthusiasts have responded with measured optimism to the rumors about the appointments of both Gensler and Barr. Some say this could be a positive sign for the cryptocurrency market, but others warn that more needs to be done. Having experts at the helm is not enough. For example, Petr Kozyakov, the co-founder of Mercuryo.io, explains to news.Bitcoin.com that Gensler’s “deep background in the cryptocurrency space is a sign of a positive outlook for crypto.”
Still, Kozyakov doubts whether the agreements alone can put an end to the uncertainty in space. Instead, he emphasizes that “much will depend on the status of digital currencies: commodities or securities.” According to Kozyakov, some of the current challenges in this area can be “resolved with the Digital Commodity Exchange Act introduced in late 2020 by Texas Congressman Michael Conaway.”
Likewise, Anna Tutova, Coinstelegram’s CEO, thinks that the “background of both Gary Gensler and Michael Barr is positive for the crypto regulations.” She adds:
Overall, the appointment of a person well versed in crypto and financial technologies should be positive for the crypto industry.
Regarding the rumors of Barr’s nomination, Tutova believes he will continue in Brooks’ footsteps. However, Tutova suggests that only a robust regulatory ecosystem, infrastructure and investor protection will “lead to an influx of more private investors into the crypto industry and thus to the expansion of mass adoption.”
What do you think of the rumored appointment of Micheal Barr as head of the OCC? You can share your thoughts in the comments below.
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