The head of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (OCC) Brian P. Brooks has officially announced his resignation on January 14, 2021.
In a statement dated Jan. 13, the organization said Chief Operating Officer Blake Paulson will become acting currency controller and replace Brooks, who has served for eight months.
Brian P. Brooks resigns, Blake Paulson becomes acting Currency Controller January 14, 2021 https://t.co/bGpnNapT1F
– OCC (@USOCC) January 13, 2021
The outgoing chief Brooks, former legal chief of Coinbase, has been a breath of fresh air with his forward-looking approach. On January 1
After years of regulatory uncertainty, the agency, which falls under the US Treasury, recently took steps to allow banks to use independent blockchain nodes and stack coins.
The announcement acknowledged these achievements, adding that Brooks had helped ensure that “the federal banking system could evolve to meet the changing demands of consumers and markets by clarifying banking and thrift with respect to certain activities related to cryptocurrencies.”
Outgoing President Donald Trump formally nominated Brooks for a full five-year term in November, but opposition came from Democrats who believed President-elect Joe Biden should oversee the selection.
Brooks, a former Coinbase director, said he left the OCC in skilled hands. His successor, Paulson, is a Career Banking Examiner and has served as Chief Operating Officer of the Agency since June 2020. Prior to his role in the Agency, Paulson was responsible for overseeing approximately 1,100 national banks and federal savings associations, making him essentially a veteran traditional banker.
It is unclear how Paulson will approach cryptocurrencies, but Democratic members of the U.S. Congress have previously criticized Brooks for placing too much emphasis on movements toward digital banking and not enough focus on Covid-19 relief.
The OCC oversees nearly 1,200 national banks, federal savings banks, federal branches and foreign banking agencies operating between them. 70% of all banking in the United States.