NYDFS looking for superintendent with blockchain, crypto focus

The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) is looking to hire a new deputy superintendent who has a special focus on blockchain and cryptocurrencies. According to the job posting by the financial regulator for the state, this Superintendent will fill a new position in the recently created Research and Innovation Division. This division oversees the licensing of cryptocurrency firms.

According to the job posting, the new deputy superintendent would be responsible to maintain “a special focus on virtual currencies, digital currencies, blockchain, distributed ledger technology, and other related innovative and derivative products and technologies.”

As part of the applicant’s responsibilities, it is expected that this person would be able to provide both leadership and expertise that would “support policy decisions and the regulation of emerging and innovative markets, including virtual currencies and virtual currency markets and businesses…(and will be expected to) engage with industry.”

While not a requirement, the NYDFS is looking for someone who has qualifications in “Compliance, legal, or other relevant experience on matters related to virtual currencies, digital currencies, blockchain, distributed ledger technology.”

In the statement, new NYDFS superintendent Linda Lacewell explained, “The financial services regulatory landscape needs to evolve and adapt as innovation in banking, insurance, and regulatory technology continues to grow…This new division and these appointments position DFS as the regulator of the future, allowing the Department to better protect consumers, develop best practices, and analyze market data to strengthen New York’s standing as the center of financial innovation.”

This new department has already hired several new members. This includes Executive Deputy Superintendent Matthew Homer, Andrew Lucas as counsel, and Deputy Superintendents Matthew Siegel and Olivia Bumgardner. All applications must be received by the division by October 31 to be considered.

This new hire continues what is viewed as a change of heart by the NYDFS. In July 2018, the agency had strongly opposed the creation of “sandboxes” for these financial technology companies. A statement by the regulatory agency strongly-worded their opposition, explaining that “Toddlers play in sandboxes. Adults play by the rules.” However, not only are they embracing this technology now but are also looking to continue to fail several positions that will help to oversee these companies.

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