Brian Brooks leaves OCC after eight months as head

TL;DR Breakdown:

  • OCC head, Brian Brooks, will leave office today as the head of the US banking regulator
  • He will be replaced by an interim named to be Blake Paulson.

The former Coinbase executive and cryptocurrency advocate, Brian Brooks, is set to leave the United States Office of the Comptroller (OCC) today, after a short but active tenure in regulating the country’s banking sector. The head of the OCC maintained a friendly stance with digital currencies while in office, allowing banking institutions in the country to deal with cryptocurrencies.

According to the information by the OCC on Wednesday, Brooks will be replaced on an interim basis – hopefully by another crypto-friendly advocate.

Brian Brooks leaves the United States OCC

Brian Brooks joined the Comptroller of the Currency in May 2020 and has served as the head of the US Treasury office for eight months since he took over from Joseph Otting. Brooks’ departure from the government position is coming as President Donald Trump’s administration prepares to leave the presidential office in a few days. Notably, the current sitting president had inaugurated Brooks for a complete five-year term. He probably might face some resistance with the incoming government.

Meanwhile, Brook’s tenure lowered the barrier and brought clarity for banking institutions in the country looking to deal with digital currencies. The OCC had recently greenlighted nationally chartered banks, including savings institutions, to receive and custody stablecoin reserves from the issuers. Also, the banking regulator disclosed in a letter on January 5 that banks can use independent node verification networks (INVN), which are also known as public blockchains.

Additionally, they approved banks to use stablecoins to process payments.

Will the OCC maintain a crypto-friendly stance?

Although OCC’s recent guidance for the national banks is healthy for the cryptocurrency industry, Brian Brooks believes it is essential for the federal banking system. “The actions we took as a team will help ensure the federal banking system operates in a safer, sounder, and fairer manner for decades to come,” he added.

In the report, Blake Paulson, the current Chief Operating Officer at OCC, was named as the interim. It remains unknown whether the new OCC head will work in line with the crypto-friendly guidance already established by Brooks.

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