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Will he be as good for crypto?

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The head of the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Brian P. Brooks has officially announced that he is stepping down on January 14, 2021.

In a statement dated January 13, the organization said that Chief Operating Officer Blake Paulson will become Acting Comptroller of the Currency, replacing Brooks who has served for eight months.

The outgoing chief Brooks, formerly head of legal at Coinbase, has been a breath of fresh air with his forward looking approach. On January 12, he suggested that DeFi can root out bias and fraud in traditional banking, and that regulations need to be reconfigured for an age of algorithms.

Following several years of regulatory uncertainty the agency, which falls under the scope of the U.S. Treasury, recently made moves to allow banks to use independent blockchain nodes and stablecoins.

The announcement acknowledged these achievements adding that Brooks had helped ensure the “federal banking system could evolve to meet the changing demands of consumers and markets by clarifying bank and thrift authorities regarding certain activities related to crypto assets.”

Outgoing President Donald Trump formally nominated Brooks for a full five-year term in November, but resistance came from the Democrats who believed President-elect Joe Biden should oversee the selection.

Brooks, a former Coinbase executive, said he was leaving the OCC in capable hands. His replacement, Paulson, is a career bank examiner and has served as Chief Operating Officer for the agency since June 2020. Prior to his role at the agency, Paulson was responsible for supervising around 1,100 national banks and federal savings associations so he is in essence a veteran traditional banker.

It is unclear how Paulson will approach crypto assets, but Democratic members of the U.S. Congress have previously criticized Brooks for putting too much emphasis on moves towards digital banking services and not enough focus on Covid-19 relief.

The OCC supervises nearly 1,200 national banks, federal savings associations, federal branches, and agencies of foreign banks, that between them conduct approximately 70% of all banking business in the U.S.





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Mystery surrounds bizarre class-action lawsuit against Ripple over $48 loss

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The Ripple community is at a loss to explain the motivation behind a class-action lawsuit filed by Florida man Tyler Toomey against Ripple Labs and Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse over a $48.56 loss.

In November 2020, Toomey purchased 135 XRP tokens at $0.724 each for a total value of $97.80. Following news of another lawsuit against Ripple in Dec that year, Toomey sold his investment for $49.24, suffering a loss of almost 50%. He’s now launched a class action costing eight times more in filing fees than the loss he claims to have incurred.

According to the Middle District of Florida website, where the lawsuit was filed, the cost of filing a civil action is $402.

Adding to the general weirdness of the case the amount demanded by Toomey is $5,000,001,000 and the Magistrate presiding over the case shares his unusual surname — Magistrate Judge Joel B. Toomey.

The filing states that the class-action is on behalf of Toomey (the plaintiff, not the magistrate), “and all others similarly situated against Defendants Ripple Labs,” so it’s possible his motivation is to merely enable other investors to take similar action.

Toomey is also seeking “injunctive relief” due to the amount of XRP held by the defendants which the filing claims, “they can continue to monetize, while creating substantial risk to investors.”

The Ripple community don’t seem to know what to make of the case, with some having taken offense while others believe it a joke. One Twitter user offered $200 in XRP for Toomey to drop the lawsuit.

New Jersey attorney Jess Hynes suggested the law is at fault for enabling such malarky.

“This stuff is going to keep happening and you can blame Congress and the SEC for it. @RepMaxineWaters refused to do her job last session. Let’s hope she does it this go around.”

Ripple is currently trading at $0.25, down 4% in the day, suggesting few investors are taking this lawsuit to heart.