The former acting Comptroller of the Currency, Brian Brooks, will become the CEO of crypto exchange Binance.US, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Brooks, who will begin his role at Binance.US on May 1, will replace Binance.US’s current CEO Catherine Coley, who joined the exchange in July 2019 from cross-border payment company Ripple.
A voice for crypto at the OCC
Brooks was formally nominated by former President Trump to serve a five year term as the head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). But runoff elections in Georgia dashed those plans—putting the Senate in Democratic hands—and Blake Paulson was put in charge until Biden names his pick for the OCC.
As head of the OCC, Brooks was a supporter of cryptocurrency and blockchain innovation within the banking sector. In January, the OCC issued guidance that national banks and credit unions could use blockchain technology and stablecoins for payment activities, a major shift in policy.
Prior to heading up the OCC, Brooks was the chief legal officer at crypto exchange Coinbase, which last week went public via a direct listing, temporarily hitting a valuation of $100 billion.
Last month, Binance hired former US Senator Max Baucus to consult with US regulators on policies designed to not only grow Binance but the wider crypto ecosystem. He joined as an advisor on policy and government relations.
Binance is one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, with trading volumes of $141 billion on a daily basis. Binance.US is a much smaller operation, with just $1.8 billion in daily trading volumes.