BitLicense Architect Ben Lawsky Joins Ripple Board

Ben Lawsky, the former New York Superintendent of Financial Services who spearheaded the BitLicense regulatory framework while in office, has joined startup Ripple’s board of directors.

According to a press release from Tuesday, Lawsky will help Ripple advance its payment platform as well as its in-house digital asset, 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.

Lawsky is perhaps best known for establishing the BitLicense framework, the notable and at-times controversial regulatory scheme that took shape in 2013 and 2014 and came into effect the following year. Since then, only a few licenses have actually been awarded, and a still-active legal effort aiming to undo the BitLicense remains ongoing.

And though a new consulting firm created in 2015 raised the prospects of Lawsky advising the industry he once sought to regulate, the former NYDFS chief has largely stayed on the sidelines.

In a department, however, Lawsky last month spoke about possible regulations for initial coin offerings (ICOs) at the Money2020 conference in Las Vegas, saying the potential for fraud could cause “a backlash against the entire bitcoin and crypto ecosystem.”

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Ripple.

Lawsky image via Wikimedia Commons

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