GARP, February 5, 2021, New Administration, New Hope for Clarity on Crypto
In May 2015, the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) cracked down on cryptocurrency company Ripple for anti-money-laundering lapses.
Today, Ripple, having established its XRP as the biggest cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin and Ethereum, is facing a significant and potentially more damaging legal battle. A lawsuit filed in December by the Securities and Exchange Commission accuses the San Francisco-based organization of violating the Securities Act of 1933.
Ripple has projected a regulation-friendly image in part through board and advisory relationships with the likes of Benjamin Lawsky, the former New York State financial services superintendent and architect of the Bitlicense; and Michael Barr, who as a U.S. Treasury assistant secretary had a key role in drafting the Dodd-Frank Act and is reportedly Biden’s choice to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Some progressive Democrats are critical of Barr for not being hard enough on the banking industry with Dodd-Frank and for his past ties to Ripple. On the other hand, Jesse Van Tol, chief executive of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, told the New York Times, “Michael Barr will be the most progressive comptroller in my lifetime, maybe ever.”