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The US banking regulator sees potential in fintech solutions to existing banking problems

August 21, 2020

Acting Controller of United States Currency, Brian Brooks recently expressed his willingness to embrace fintech solutions in a interview with CNN.

Brooks, who was previously Coinbase’s chief legal officer, stated that his job was now “Identify barriers that make it difficult for people to get what they want and need.”

This has already given banks the green light to provide cryptocurrency management services, and Brooks also pointed to the possibility of a future central bank digital currency (CBDC), issued by private companies but backed by bank deposits.

The US banking regulator sees potential in fintech solutions to existing banking problemsThe US banking regulator sees potential in fintech solutions to existing banking problems

The interview also looked at the need for faster payment solutions, given the recent issue of coronavirus benefit payments, which are sent over what Brooks calls “Bank Rails of the 19th Century”.

He noted that the lack of an instant payment solution in the US banking system has resulted in millions of payments being made outside of the US banking system through companies like PayPal, Stripe and Square.

This then begs the question of whether it was desirable for this financial activity to be outside the control of the regulator.

Brooks suggested having his favorite solution already rolling out in other parts of the world including the UK “Faster payments that are innovated by private companies but then monitored by federal regulatory agencies.”

Finally, Brooks talked about the 50 million Americans who currently own some type of cryptocurrency. He described his role as ensuring that this is “accessible to them in the same secure and robust way that they can get their checking accounts”.

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