President Biden is reportedly preparing to appoint a former member of the Ripple Advisory Board, Michael Barr, as currency auditor.
The Wall Street Journal reports that if Barr is nominated and confirmed, he will succeed Brian Brooks, who resigned Jan. 14, and temporarily acting currency auditor Blake Paulson.
The currency checker is the senior official in the Office of the Currency Checker (OCC). His duties include overseeing 1,200 national banks, federal savings banks and branches and agencies of foreign banks, which together handle 70% of all banking business in the USA.
Barr’s potential nomination comes a month after the SEC announced that it is suing Ripple for selling an unregistered security in the form of XRP. The potential comptroller of the Currency nominee joined Ripple Labs’ advisory board in July 2015. He left the company in 2017.
When Barr joined Ripple Labs as a consultant, he said the global payments system was “severely out of date”. He argued that “innovations in payments can help make the financial system more secure, reduce costs, 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 by the Biden administration for this position.
In a July 2019 hearing for the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Community Affairs, Baradaran said cryptocurrencies are not the “best solution” to the shortcomings of the traditional financial industry.
“While I share many of the cryptocurrency industry’s concerns about banking failure, I don’t believe cryptocurrency is the best solution to financial inclusion and equity problems in banking.”
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