On November 28, 2017, US District Judge Timothy J. Kelly ruled that Republican blockchain advocate Mick Mulvaney will be the next active director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Mulvaney has championed blockchain technology in the past. Alongside Jared Polis (D-Colo) he formed the first bipartisan Congressional Blockchain Caucus with support from non-profit cryptocurrency advocacy group Coin Center; Mulvaney was also appointed to the Office of Management and Budget by President Trump.
The watchdog Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created during the Obama administration in response to the sub-prime mortgage financial crisis. But recently, the new bureau has seen some upheaval. After its previous director, Richard Cordray, stepped down from his position on November 24, 2017, the 45th president selected Mulvaney to step into the role.
Although this appointment was met with some legal dispute, for the time being, the contention has been put to rest with Kelly's ruling. A CFPB headed by Mulvaney may be better informed on matters relating to blockchain technology, and will likely issue regulatory measures with deference to Mulvaney's background. This might be good news for those on the sidelines awaiting formal digital currency frameworks from seats of authority.
However, Mulvaney's position at the CFPB is temporary and eventually Trump will need to choose a permanent director. Regardless of who ultimately comes to reside in the leadership position at the CFPB, most important are the agency's regulatory efforts. Whoever spearheads those efforts would best serve consumers by encompassing a thorough understanding of the promise of blockchain technology. Before mass adoption can happen, consumer protections such as those traditionally championed by the CFPB should be in place.