Amid an ongoing global health and financial crisis, Coinbase, one of the most popular cryptocurrency trading platforms in the United States, is losing another key executive.
Brian Brooks, Coinbase’s chief legal officer will resign from the company to join the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), an independent banking regulator operating under the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the OCC announced on March 16.
Famous crypto skeptic Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appointed Brooks
According to the official announcement, Brooks has been designated as first deputy comptroller — the agency’s second-highest position — by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Brooks will also serve as the OCC’s chief operating officer effective April 1, the announcement reads.
A known sceptic of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Mnuchin outlined Brooks as a “strong leader with extensive experience in the financial services sector,” adding that he is excited to work together to foster the financial system and greater economic growth.
Coinbase is proud that their crypto-friendly legal officer will join the authority
Coinbase said in an email to Cointelegraph that the company is pleased to know that their legal officer is joining the OCC to oversee the nation’s banking system, noting that Brooks will definitely bring a more friendly stance to crypto with him. Brooks has been leading Coinbase’s legal, compliance, government relations and global investigations groups since September 2018.
Outlining Brooks as “invaluable in shaping the Coinbase legal and compliance programs,” a spokesperson at Coinbase said:
“In the midst of a public health and financial crisis, we are comforted to know that Brian Brooks will serve in this critical role overseeing the nation’s banking system […] We’re always proud of Coinbase alumni who go on to serve in government, bringing a crypto-friendly perspective with them.”
Apart from his departure from Coinbase, Brooks will also step down from the boards of directors of the Federal National Mortgage Association — commonly known as Fannie Mae — and marketplace lender Avant. Prior to joining Coinbase in 2018, Brooks also served as founding advisor at decentralized fintech project Spring Labs, member of the compliance and information security committee at Avant and executive vice president and general counsel at Fannie Mae.
In early March, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said that the U.S. welcomes responsible digital innovation, still emphasizing that the agency is focused on preventing illicit uses of crypto like money laundering and terrorist financing. Reiterating his skepticism of the industry, Mnuchin said that the U.S. “will not tolerate the use of cryptocurrencies in support of illicit activities.”