Biden’s OCC pick Mehrsa Baradaran is the new frontrunner for the banking regulator chair and she expressed quite the skepticism about BTC before Congress so let’s see what she thinks about it in today’s latest bitcoin news.
The initial frontrunner Michael Barr seems to have dropped out of the race. The new favorite Mehra Baradaran expressed skepticism about cryptocurrency. The office that oversees the biggest banks in the country gained some new prominence in recent years because of the questions over how to integrate crypto companies and fintech into the banking system. Until a week ago, it seemed that Michael Barr who was an Obama-era Treasury Official was set to become the head of OCC.
A disturbing number of people high-fiving the Michael Barr OCC choice are in fintech pic.twitter.com/hQYqXxlg1r
— David Dayen (@ddayen) January 21, 2021
This move was hailed by plenty in the crypto industry as they believed his background as an advisor to Ripple will mean that he will continue guiding the crypto space into friendly policies waters and continue the work of Brian Brooks. However, others complained that Barr appeared too cozy with the fintech industry but the hopes for his confirmation are erased as of late.
The White House has a new chair in mind. However, Biden’s OCC pick seems to be not very fond of crypto. Mehrsa Baradarn is practically an “outsider” who made her name by writing books and articles about racial injustice in the US banking system. She would be the first woman of color on the head of the OCC but it could trigger anxiety and uncertainty in the crypto sector as she is known for speaking out skeptically about BTC in the past.
In testimony to Congress in 2019, Mehrsa Baradaran likened BTC to tulips, stocks, and other bubble-prone assets but also observed that many BTC boosters are opposed to regulation and even cited the academic paper that described the politics of BTC as right-wing extremism:
“While I share many of the cryptocurrency industry’s concerns with respect to failures of the banking industry, I do not believe cryptocurrency is the best solution to the problems of financial inclusion and equity in banking.”
The Fintech Trade Association declined to comment further on the Baradaran rumors but said that it will work with the OCC in hopes of finding a balance between consumer protection and innovation, as Milan Dalal who is a Senior Government Relations Advisor for the FTA said:
“With millions underbanked or underserved, we look forward to engaging with OCC leadership to take a proactive approach, and develop a coherent, forward-looking framework that ensures consumer protections, while driving innovations that will ultimately deliver access to safe, inclusive, low-cost, and equitable products and services.”
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