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Former Regulator Turns Bitcoin Advocate
Originally Posted 16 Apr 2016 by
Benjamin Lawsky who is the former chief of financial services of New York State might have taken harsh view of Bitcoin as a regulator, but now he has started to support the technology behind Bitcoin. Benjamin Lawsky is accused of implementing some tough rules and regulations on the virtual currency. Now he is a head of a consultancy that’s acting as a media liaison and advisor for one of major players in the sector. The Lawsky Group provides strategic and legal counsel for the clients on issues related to financial regulation. Last week this group was the media contact for the blockchain technology firm, Axoni.
Axoni is promoting the successful tests of its blockchain technology in to back office settlement processes for the derivatives transactions. Mathew Anderson, the spokesman of the Lawsky Group said that the group will be involved in a wide range of financial consultancy as well as public relations related to financial technology.
Anderson was the spokesman for Financial Services Department, the same state regulator where Benjamin Lawsky used to work and was known for slowing down the development of the virtual currencies. Last June, Lawsky said that he wanted to have the guard rails in order to protect the consumers and to root out the illicit activities without oppressing beneficial innovation.
Although some of the proponents of Bitcoin welcomed those safeguards, many observers have been annoyed by the U-turn of Lawsky that now he’s profiting from the technology in private sector. Pamela Morgan who is the CEO of the Third Key Solutions said that she thinks that most interesting fact about the newest venture of Mr. Lawsky is that it highlights the warm relationship between the regulators and regulated industry. Morgan’s company provides consultancy for different companies using digital currencies like Bitcoin. She described the new role of Lawsky as “crony capitalism at its finest”.
The spokesman of Lawsky didn’t respond to the requests for more details about the work, although others didn’t see any problem with it.
Adam Draper who is Boost VC’s CEO said that he thinks that it’s fantastic that Lawsky has entered private sector and has continued to support blockchain/bitcoin space. Boost VC is a venture capital firm that is focused on the blockchain technology and other virtual tech. Some people suggest that addition of the public relations results in the strength which has helped Lawsky raise his profile in first place – Lawsky’s ability of interacting with media.
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