New York regulator and BitLicense proponent gets seat on federal counsel of agency leaders

Quick Take

  • New York’s lead financial regulator will join council of federal agency heads. 
  • Adrienne Harris has been a proponent of the state’s BitLicense.

Adrienne Harris, the leader of New York's state banking and financial regulatory agency that oversees the state's BitLicense, has been named to a non-voting seat on the Financial Stability Oversight Counsel, or FSOC.

Harris is the superintendent of New York's Department of Financial Services, or NYDFS. The Conference of State Bank Supervisors, or CSBS, appoints a state representative to fill the federal seat that Harris is taking. 

In her current New York state role, Harris oversees the BitLicense, an influential state regulatory regimes for crypto companies in the U.S. that she has championed as a model for digital asset regulation across the country, despite the regulatory regime being a longtime source of criticism from the crypto industry. Notably, FTX.US's BitLicense application was stuck in regulatory limbo meaning the firm could never legally operate in the state, which Harris has touted as evidence of its effectiveness.


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A product of the Dodd-Frank Act that followed the 2008 financial crisis, FSOC is a forum for leaders of U.S. regulatory agencies to set policy aimed at preventing financial crises. The Secretary of the Treasury, currently Janet Yellen, chairs the body, while voting members include the chairs of the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The heads of the federal banking regulators also sit on the panel. 

Despite Harris' new seat lacking a vote, it is a visible federal venue for a state regulator. She will replace Texas Banking Commissioner Charles Cooper, who has been in the role since September 2018. An announcement from the CSBS said that Cooper had been "influential in ensuring that the FSOC’s recommendations on digital assets considered state banking regulators and adequately reflected state laws and regulations."

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Kollen Post is a senior reporter at The Block, covering all things policy and geopolitics from Washington, DC. That includes legislation and regulation, securities law and money laundering, cyber warfare, corruption, CBDCs, and blockchain’s role in the developing world. He speaks Russian and Arabic. You can send him leads at [email protected].


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