Brian Brooks, the former general counsel of cryptocurrency exchangewho went on to serve as Acting Comptroller of the Currency, has stepped down as Binance.US CEO after taking over in May.
In a tweet today, Brooks announced the news and wrote: "Despite differences over strategic direction, I wish my former colleagues much success. Exciting new things to come!"
Greetings #crypto community. Letting you all know that I have resigned as CEO of @BinanceUS . Despite differences over strategic direction, I wish my former colleagues much success. Exciting new things to come!
— Brian Brooks (@BrianBrooksUS) August 6, 2021
Among crypto industry followers, Brooks made a name for himself during his 10 months running the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an office within the Treasury Department that regulates federal banks and credit unions. During Brooks' short tenure at the Trump-era OCC, the independent bureau flexed its muscle by issuing regulatory guidance that federally chartered banks could use blockchain-based payment systems and even issue their own —digital assets designed to mimic the dollar or other assets.
Brooks' appointment to the Binance.US position came as something of a surprise as it resulted in the ouster of then-CEO Catherine Coley. Coley has yet to comment on the situation and still lists her former title on social media accounts.
In a statement on Twitter, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao thanked Brooks for his service: "Brian's work for Binance.US has been invaluable and we hope he will continue to be an integral part of the crypto industry’s growth, advocating for regulations that move our industry forward. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors."
Binance.US assured customers at the exchange, which ranks in the top 10 for trading volume (per Binance-owned CoinMarketCap), they would not be impacted by the leadership transition.
— Binance.US 🇺🇸 (@BinanceUS) August 6, 2021
Brooks declined to add to his remarks when reached by Decrypt for comment.