Acting U.S. Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Michael Hsu expressed concern that regulators are spending “too much time on crypto” rather than on more pressing issues like technology and banking.
The cryptoskeptic head of the OCC made the comments during an interview with Reuters on Oct. 13, when he expressed concern that cryptocurrencies are “occupying a lot of space in a lot of people’s brains” in the regulatory community.
Hsu has been heading the OCC since May 2021 and is the administrator of the Federal Banking System and CFO of the OCC.
During his tenure, he called for greater oversight of crypto firms and stablecoin standards, while emphasizing the need for a cautious approach to crypto regulation due to the “red flags” of the sector’s rapid growth.
“We are spending too much time on crypto,” he told Reuters, adding that “it’s interesting, it has complex issues… but compared to other technologies and banking issues, I think we have an overweight of crypto right now.”
Hsu went on to explain that there are other areas that need to be focused on at this time, especially those related to fintech, which he stressed last month requires immediate oversight to avoid a “major problem or crisis” due to the sector’s runaway expansion. , adding to :
“Constantly occupying space in the brain, now it starts to bother me that we are not spending this time and attention on something else.”
The OCC boss said he believes fintech is the future and therefore needs the right time and attention to help the sector thrive sustainably.
“This is the future, so let’s build the future right,” he said.
These sentiments contrast sharply with Xu’s views on crypto, given that during a roundtable lecture at Harvard Law School on October 11, he described the sector as “an immature industry based on immature technology.”
Related: Rep. McHenry Gives Stablecoin Legislation Progress Report, Says It’s ‘Ugly Baby’
Hsu also expressed concern about the crypto sector’s apparent fear of missing out (FOMO) syndrome, which he argued encourages wild speculation rather than innovation:
“Promises of innovation and inclusiveness often mask the gold-rush promotion of cryptocurrencies that exploit people’s fear of missing out on the next Google or Amazon.”
“My skepticism about crypto stems from frustration that the most promising innovations have been superseded by hype and obsession with commerce,” Xu added.