U.S. Office of the Controller of the Currency (OCC) reported on 14 January that Brian Brooks, the Acting Controller of the Federal Department, would step down and Blake Paulson would become the next Acting Controller of the Currency. The new official has been with the Department since 1986 as a bank inspector, and later became Chief Operating Officer of the OCC last year.
The former acting head of the OCC sees the crypto industry in a positive way. In December 2020, Brooks encouraged crypto investors when they worried about a potential ban on cryptocurrencies in the US. At the time, he said that regulators were “very focused” on bitcoin “not killing.”
He also noticed that officials were working to build networks behind Bitcoin and that consumers should expect “good news” from regulators. Especially with regard to cryptocurrencies after the end of President Trump’s administration.
Brooks, former Chief Legal Officer of Coinbase, was nominated for a full term by Donald Trump, but the nomination remained pending for confirmation by the US Senate. Instead, Brooks decided to stand aside in the wake of Trump’s transition to Joe Biden’s administration. In a quote, he said:
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is the most extraordinary of federal agencies filled with the most dedicated, professional, and gifted staff any executive can hope to have. I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished together through what have been extraordinary times by any measure.
According to the OCC, Paulson was responsible for administering 1,100 national banks and federal savings associations. He was also in charge of coordinating 1,600 OCC staff as Senior Deputy Comptroller for Midsize and Community Bank Supervision.
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