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Former CFPB chief joins cryptocurrency surveillance firm

The former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has joined Solidus Labs, a New York City-based cryptocurrency market surveillance firm, as vice president of regulatory affairs.

Kathy Kraninger started at Solidus labs this month, according to her LinkedIn profile. She told Reuters in an interview that she will be building Solidus Labs’ regulatory team as the market for cryptocurrencies comes under increased scrutiny in Washington.

The move continues a trend of fintechs hiring former regulators to smooth their way through compliance hurdles. Brian Brooks, the former acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, in May became CEO at Binance, one of the world’s biggest bitcoin exchanges.

Solius Labs CEO Asaf Meir, a former Goldman Sachs associate and equities engineer, has said that bad actors have manipulated the cryptocurrency market in ways that financial regulators have not seen before.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urged regulators this week to “act quickly” to address the risks associated with stablecoins, according to a statement from the Treasury Department.

Also this week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., the architect of the CFPB, said that the bureau should be at the table as regulators take a closer look at cryptocurrency.

“We’re seeing an essentially unregulated market grow by the day, and financial scams are growing with it,” Warren said Monday on a call celebrating the agency’s 10th anniversary. “Crypto is an area that I think all of our financial regulators are going to need to work together to address, and that means the CFPB needs a seat at the table in those discussions on these issues.”

There is still a lot of regulatory uncertainty around crypto. Depending on the digital asset, cryptocurrencies currently are regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission or the OCC.

Kraninger, a Trump appointee, led the CFPB for just over two years, resigning on inauguration day at the request of the Biden administration.

She had been a career civil servant working primarily as a professional staff member for House and Senate committees before becoming an official at the Office of Management and Budget where she worked under former acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney.



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