Controversial Anti-Bitcoin OCC Candidate Pulls Out

Saule Omarova, the controversial and anti-bitcoin candidate nominated for the presidency of the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), has withdrawn after fierce resistance. Now waiting for a new candidate.

Last year, the bitcoin community celebrated the appointment of Brian Brooks as Acting Comptroller of the Currency. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is the regulatory body that regulates banks in the United States.

Brooks previously worked as Chief Legal Officer at the bitcoin exchange Coinbase and during his appointment he worked to provide clarity to banks regarding bitcoin. For example, he stated in a letter last year that banks are allowed to offer bitcoin management services and that they are also allowed to participate in the Bitcoin network. Since then, several American banks have started offering bitcoin services.


This year, however, President Biden nominated Saule Omarova as the new nominee for Comptroller of the Currency. For a while, it seemed that a change of course was imminent. Unlike Brooks, Omarova is not a fan of digital currencies such as bitcoin.

According to her, they would threaten financial stability and above all benefit the existing ‘dysfunctional financial system’. Her concerns seemed to be centered around the possibility of “big tech” with digital currencies taking over the payment infrastructure.

When asked about her stance on bitcoin, Omarova said, ?ǣI am not a Bitcoin expert, but I would be concerned if all our financial transactions rely on a blockchain system where various actors who may be in other countries are not very friendly towards us. have control over the functioning of that system. That is my concern” . Instead, she favors a centralized central bank digital currency.

Controversy and backlash

Omarova’s nomination was controversial, and not just because of her views on bitcoin. Omarova has quite radical ideas. Among other things, she stated that she wants to end traditional banking as we know it and replace it with a centralized central bank system. She also said that she wants to see traditional oil companies go bankrupt because of the climate problem.

Critics, especially from the Republican side, quickly pointed to the fact that Omarova grew up in the former Soviet Union. They also accused Omarova of trying to conceal her dissertation on Karl Marx.

Texas pro-bitcoin Senator Ted Cruz tweeted, “Not only is Saule Omarova, Biden’s choice to lead the OCC, a threat to our traditional economy, but she also wants to bust out regulating crypto” . He called for the nomination to be thwarted. Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis, also a supporter of bitcoin, also expressed concern.


As a result of the resistance, Omarova has now withdrawn as a candidate. In her own words, her nomination had become untenable. President Biden accepted the decision with some reluctance. In an official statement, he defended the choice of Omarova and said Omarova had become a target of “inappropriate and personal attacks” since the nomination.

In the same statement, President Biden indicated that he will continue his search for a suitable candidate and will announce more about this soon. We are now waiting for the new candidate, with hopefully more moderate views on bitcoin.

Want to read more about the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency? Last year, the OCC allowed banks to provide bitcoin management services and participate in the Bitcoin network.

s: Wikimedia

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