Former Ripple Advisor Tapped To Become Top US Banking Regulator: Report

President Biden is reportedly preparing to nominate a former member of Ripple’s advisory board, Michael Barr, as the Comptroller of the Currency.

The Wall Street Journal reports that if Barr is nominated and confirmed, he will succeed Brian Brooks, who stepped down January 14th, and temporary acting Comptroller of the Currency, Blake Paulson.

The Comptroller of the Currency is the senior official at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and their duties include overseeing 1,200 national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks that collectively perform 70% of all banking business in the US.

Barr’s possible nomination comes a month after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it is suing Ripple for the sale of  an unregistered security in the form of XRP. The prospective Comptroller of the Currency nominee joined Ripple Labs’ advisory board in July 2015. He left in 2017.

At the time of joining Ripple Labs as an advisor, Barr said the global payments system is “badly outdated.” He argued that “innovation in payments can help make the financial system safer, reduce cost, and improve access and efficiency for consumers and businesses alike.”

The Wall Street Journal adds that the University of California’s Irvine School of Law professor, Mehrsa Baradaran, was also considered for the position by the Biden administration.

In a U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Community Affairs hearing in July 2019, Baradaran said cryptocurrencies are not the “best solution” for the shortcomings of the traditional financial industry.

“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.”

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