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US Gov should focus on crypto regulations — not products: OCC

The lawyer-entrepreneur added that decentralization is inevitable

The Acting Comptroller of the Currency of the United States Department of Treasury, Brian Brooks, has stated that the future of cryptocurrency is in the hands of the people — not the government.

In an interview with Cointelegraph at the Los Angeles Blockchain Summit, Brooks argued that the expertise of the government lay in forming regulations, not building products.

The Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) charters, regulates and supervises all national and foreign banks in the US. Brooks, a banker, entrepreneur and technologist assumed the executive position of Acting Currency Comptroller in May this year.

Brooks argued that change tends to happen slowly. He cited the example of Internet 1.0 and explained that though the technology was not considered revolutionary then, it has now taken over most parts of our lives: “In the end, it’s the market and consumers that will decide the fate of crypto regulation, not the government,” said Brooks, who was formerly the Chief Legal Officer at Coinbase.

He stressed that the role of the government was to strengthen consumer safety mechanisms by setting up regulatory frameworks that prevent money laundering, terror-financing, and tax evasion and not to create tokens.

“The government has no history to build products that innovate and offer people good choices. They don’t issue travelers’ checks, American Express does. They don’t issue prepaid cards, Citibank does. So why do we think it’d be different in constructing a payments instrument?” he explained

Brooks added that governments across the world need to focus on establishing comprehensive regulations conducting supervision. “We’re trying to build the framework, we’re excited that there are tech companies coming out with tokens. Let’s marry those two things up,” he said.

Decentralization is inevitable, Brooke explained, citing how post offices, which were once the central authority for communication, are now obsolete due to the internet. The crypto industry in the future could follow in these footsteps, he said, adding that the central authorities may not play as big of a role as they perform today.

“Trendlines are probably unstoppable at some level and we just need to put a framework around that so that people don’t get scammed in the future any more than they get scammed today,” he explained.

Speaking about cryptocurrency’s infamous connections with money laundering, Brooks pointed out that the traditional banking system experiences far more money laundering than crypto.
“If there are bad actors in crypto, we need to do what we can to stop those activities just like how we do with the banks. Believing that there’s a future state where we can eliminate criminal activity or risk completely, is foolhardy,” he concluded.

Written by Harshini Nag

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