Brian Brooks, former acting chief of OCC, joins blockchain startup


Dive brief:

  • Brian Brooks, the former acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), joined blockchain credit startup Spring Labs as the first independent director, California-based Marina Del Rey. fintech said Monday.

  • Brooks, a former cryptocurrency exchange executive Coinbase, rose to the top position in OCC following the departure of Joseph Otting in May. He was also an advisor to Spring Labs from March 2018 to 2020, according to Ledger Insights.

  • “Brian has a remarkable perspective on where the industry is heading, and his experience has given him a unique perspective on transformative technologies and how they are adopted,” said Adam Jiwan, Co-Founder of Spring Labs, in a statement. “We are delighted that he shares our vision as we build the secure rails for data exchange.”

Dive overview:

The new role places Brooks in a position where he can continue his efforts to include blockchain and cryptocurrency in the financial sector, actions he took during his tenure as banking regulator.

Under the leadership of Brooks, the OCC directives issued concerning the use by banks of stablecoins and blockchains, as well as a interpretive letter clarifying that national banks are authorized to provide cryptocurrency custody services.

Brooks also argued for a payment companies charter, claiming this was the answer to the ongoing unbundling of financial services. He also pledged to continue the legal fight on the agency’s fintech charter, a proposal that the OCC presented in 2016, under former controller Thomas Curry.

Brooks, who also launched the OCC’s financial inclusion initiative, Project REACH, said Spring Labs is transforming the exchange of financial data in ways that are better for consumers.

“I look forward to working with the Spring Labs team to bring the benefits of financial services to more Americans, while reducing costs and increasing security for everyone,” he said in a statement.

Springs Labs said its network technology is based on modern cryptography, “which allows strict control over the visibility of information shared by network participants, and an authorized blockchain, which provides a timestamped and immutable record and audit trail. to all network participants. “

According to Ledger Insights, one of the startup’s most high-profile applications is for Property-Rated Clean Energy Finance (PACE) loans, a government-backed initiative to support the financing of renewable energy facilities.

The startup’s advisors include veterans of the financial services industry such as the former chairman of Goldman Sachs Gary Cohn, former CEO of TransUnion Bobby Mehta, co-founder of Capital One Nigel Morris and former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Sheila bair.

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