Brian Brooks, Chief Corporate Attorney at Coinbase, the largest US cryptocurrency exchange, was newly appointed to the office of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). It is an office that oversees the entire US banking system.
Brooks will act as Chief Operating Officer and First Deputy Chief Controller – in principle, the highest executive role. He has worked for Coinbase since September 2018, previously working in large banks and offices as the infamous Fannie Mae (Mortgage Market Support Office).
This appointment is at least surprising to many, and certainly not a cause for celebration. According to Nick Carter (CoinMetrics), Brooks is not an ally of Bitcoin.
Brooks is no ally of bitcoin. I was on a panel with him once. He spouted a bunch of nonsense about bitcoin being controlled by China and mining being wasteful. Said the real innovation was in stablecoins.— nic carter (@nic__carter) March 17, 2020
If we wanted to theorize a bit about conspiracy, the appointment of Brooks could mean the destruction of some Bitcoin-holding services to its clients (the so-called custodian services). Why exactly? For the following reasons:
- incipient global crisis may cause the US dollar in trouble – low oil price, expected heavy epidemic in the US, more or less fed Fed monetary ammunition (reference rate is 0% from weekend)
- Brooks is a stablecoin enthusiast, has written in the past about thinking about a digital dollar in the form of stablecoin (Fortune article)
- during the Great Depression, the gold held by banks for the benefit of its clients was nationalized (Regulation 6102)
- during this crisis, it may hypothetically happen that, in the rescue of the US financial system, the bitcoins of US institutions such as Coinbase, BitGo, Bakkt, BlockFi, and the bitcoin can be used as one of the safeguards for the new digital dollar
That sounds crazy? Yes, today. But everything that happened today sounded incredible a few weeks ago. The coronavirus pandemic will bring many unpleasant surprises and a paradigm shift.