Media: Biden nominates cryptocurrency critic to head OSS

October 1, 2021

Biden nominates cryptocurrency critic to head OSS

US President Joe Biden plans to nominate a cryptocurrency critic and the current banking system as head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) within the Treasury. This was reported by Bloomberg, citing its own sources.

Cornell University law professor Saule Omarova, a native of Kazakhstan and graduate of Moscow State University, previously said she wanted to "put an end to banking as we know it".

She also noted that the rapid growth of cryptocurrencies "mainly benefits an already dysfunctional system". She said digital tokens threaten to destabilise the economy and are vulnerable to abuse by private companies to the detriment of government guarantees.

Omarova has advocated moving consumer deposits to digital accounts at the Fed, which she described as part of a plan to "radically change the underlying architecture and dynamics of modern finance".

According to The New York Times, the administration had been considering her candidacy since August.

"Saule Omarova's academic writings provide insight into how she might approach the new position. Her research highlights that cryptocurrency transactions allow banks to conduct more trading outside the view of the Fed and other regulators. As head of the department, Omarova may try to increase oversight of such processes, including JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup," the publication wrote at the time.

According to Bloomberg, Omarova's candidacy may face difficulties in the approval process in Congress, because major financial institutions, which are sponsors of both parties, will lobby against her.

The publication recalled that the administration had already rejected two candidates under consideration due to intra-party disagreements. One of them was former Ripple adviser Michael Barr.

Recall that the previous head of the OSS, Brian Brooks, resigned in January 2021.

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