Crypto Critic Joins CFPB

Cryptocurrency regulations

A well-known skeptic of cryptocurrencies is joining the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which could signal more federal oversight in the future of the digital coins.

Bloomberg News reported Thursday (Jan. 27) that Alexis Goldstein, who directs financial policy for the antimonopoly group Open Markets Institute, will work on issues that include digital assets for the bureau.

Goldstein spent seven years working on Wall Street as a business analyst, developing trading technology. She eventually became disillusioned with the culture and quit. Later she joined forces with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Last year, in her capacity as senior policy analyst for Americans for Financial Reform, Goldstein testified before Congress about the Gamestop trading controversy.

Read more: Second GameStop Hearing Focuses On Experts Over Usual Suspects

“Many have framed the GameStop mania as a David versus Goliath struggle,” she told the House Financial Services Committee in March 2021.

In reality, Goldstein said, it’s more of a case of “Goliath vs. Goliath. The ‘Goliaths’ in this case are the largest Wall Street institutional players: hedge funds, especially those that employ high-frequency trading algorithms, and the ‘flow’ trading desks at major banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.”

As Bloomberg notes, Goldstein’s views, which have often lined up with those of progressive Democrats, could cause some headaches for crypto firms. She has called for more oversight on the digital tokens, raising concerns about the risks posed by stablecoins and other currency.

Read more: Warren: CFPB Has Power To Stop Crypto Fraud

A number of Democratic legislators, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., among them, have called on the CFPB to be more aggressive in cracking down on abuse in the crypto world.

Last October, Warren said the bureau doesn’t need to wait for other agencies to take action to make its own moves to curb cryptocurrency payment abuse.

“With their intense focus on consumers, the CFPB has a role to play as a cop on the beat,” Warren said. “Crypto infiltration of the market cuts across different regulatory agency’s jurisdiction. The answer to that is not that each agency should wait for the other to act, it’s that the agencies should all pick up the tools available to them and move.”