Ben Lawsky has served as a New York Superintendent of Financial Services who led the BitLicense regulatory framework while in office and has now joined the startup Ripple. He will serve on the board of directors.
The press release states that that he will help push Ripple’s payment platform including its digital coin (XRP).
“The company and its leadership are passionate about making our global financial system more efficient, more secure and more fair,” he said in a statement.
Who is Ben Lawsky ?
Benjamin Meier Lawsky is an American attorney and New York State’s first Superintendent of Financial Services serving through June, 2015, and former Acting Superintendent of Banks serving through 2011.
Architecting the Bitlicense
In his time playing the role of regulator he helped to create the bitlicense (which has only been given to three startups circle, coinbase and lastly, Ripple). The regulation was implemented in August 2015. As of January 2017 only three BitLicenses were awarded, many have tried to recieve it but only a few were chosen..
The bitlicense caused a lot of hardship for startups, not just how they were treatet. But by the law and what they were and weren’t allowed to do. The Bitlicense or business license of virtual currency activities regulations applied only to activities happening within New York or with a New York resident.
Further Details on BitLicense
The regulations define virtual currency business activity as any one of the following types of activities:
- receiving virtual currency for Transmission or Transmitting virtual Currency, except where the transaction is undertaken for non-financial purposes and does not involve the transfer of more than a nominal amount of virtual currency;
- storing, holding, or maintaining custody or control of virtual currency on behalf of others;
- buying and selling virtual currency as a customer business;
- performing Exchange Services as a customer business, or;
- controlling, administering, or issuing a virtual currency.
But, the 2 following activities are excluded from the definition of virtual currency business activity:
- development and dissemination of software in and of itself;
- merchants and consumers that utilize virtual currency solely for the purchase or sale of goods or services or for investment purposes.”
Many are still in an ongoing legal battle to have this hurdle removed.
Post Regulator. Consultant. Team Member.
After Lawsky left his post as a regulator he created a consulting firm and started advising the cryptocurrency industry.
And after a little while he has taken the plunge and is now immersed in the virtual currency space.
Lawsky stated “Ripple is the leading enterprise blockchain company in the world today and is one that truly understands the importance of regulation-enabled innovation. The company and its leadership are passionate about making our global financial system more efficient, more secure and more fair. I share those same goals and am thrilled and humbled to work side by side with their incredible team as they continue to pave the way for the growth and accelerating adoption of blockchain and digital assets in the years ahead.”
This could be a smart move for Ripple as it seems they are sticking to the strategy of understanding the current regulatory framework, by building a business catering to the current system by bringing the innovation to them. Their goal increasingly seems to be to work with the established players and to build together and this is evidenced by their latest meetings and additions to their team.