Ex-CFPB deputy to guide crypto firms through regulatory thicket

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A former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau deputy director turned venture capitalist is opening a consulting shop to help cryptocurrency and digital banking companies navigate Washington.

Raj Date’s new firm, FS Vector, said in a statement that it will focus on regulatory, legislative and compliance issues. Along with crypto clients, FS Vector plans to work with other financial technology companies such as robo advisers, online lenders and digital-payment providers, as well as traditional banks.

The move comes as lawmakers and agencies like the Treasury Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are grappling with how to fit tech firms into the financial regulation framework. Wild price swings in crypto markets and concern over the potential for digital tokens to be used for money laundering and other crimes has cemented officials’ view that more oversight is needed.

Meanwhile, many companies looking to move financial services into the digital era aren’t sure how to comply with government rules that largely haven’t kept pace with technological advances.

“There is a little bit of a disconnect, and there is a need to educate on all sides of this,” said John Beccia III, who is starting FS Vector with Date and will be its chief executive officer. “We just want to make sure that we have the right level of regulation, the smart regulation, that will allow the businesses to flourish.”

Beccia was a former general counsel and chief compliance officer at Circle Internet Financial Ltd., a digital currency trading platform. John Collins, a former Senate aide and ex-head of policy for Coinbase, will also be a partner at FS Vector.

Date worked at Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial before helping launch the CFPB in 2010 with now-Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren. He left the bureau in 2013 after serving as its first deputy director.

FS Vector will be affiliated with Date’s venture capital firm, Fenway Summer Ventures, which invests in companies at the intersection of finance and technology.

Bloomberg News