Crypto's revolving door ushers former D.C. insiders into executive ranks
Some of cryptocurrency’s most prominent rule-makers are increasingly taking executive gigs at industry upstarts. Call it the cryptocurrency revolving door.
Why it matters: A longtime phenomenon for other sectors is picking up pace in the crypto sphere — which is maturing, trying to find its mainstream footing and desperate for regulatory clarity.
- What's new now: These latest executives and advisers are those who helped shape important regulatory developments in the crypto landscape.
The latest: Brian Brooks is the new CEO of crypto exchange Binance.US., the company said last week.
- Brooks was the last head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a bank regulator. Before that, he was the chief legal officer at Binance’s rival, Coinbase.
- The OCC under his watch approved crypto firm Anchorage for a federal bank charter, an industry first.
What they’re saying: “[A]s I tried to show as head of the OCC, we need better clarity in this country to let people productively invest in this new and important technology. … One of the things I’m going to do at Binance.US is to help continue to shape that dialogue,” Brooks told CNBC.
Also last week: Bitcoin lender BlockFi added its newest board member Christopher "Crypto Dad" Giancarlo, former chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
- Two stock exchanges started offering bitcoin futures trading for the first time when Giancarlo ran the CFTC.
The bottom line via Axios’ Kia Kokalitcheva: There’s a lag in regulatory clarity and legislation around cryptocurrency. Companies are leaning on insiders — the few who have worked on the government side of crypto — to cope.
- What to watch: Congress last week passed legislation that’s an early step for regulatory clarity.