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Digital Currencies Conference 2015: ‘I Won’t Consult on BitLicense,’ Said Benjamin Lawsky

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by Polina Chernykh · 3 min read
Digital Currencies Conference 2015: ‘I Won’t Consult on BitLicense,’ Said Benjamin Lawsky
Photo: Bipartisan Policy/Flickr

Speaking at the cryptocurrency conference in Manhattan Benjamin Lawsky, former head of New York State Department of Financial Services, said his own company won’t consult on BitLicense.

On Tuesday, Benjamin Lawsky, former superintendent of New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), commented on the BitLicense for the first time since he left his post last month. While speaking at a digital currency conference in New York City, Lawsky stated he is not working in the bitcoin sector.

During his interview to Marc Hochstein, editor-in-chief of the American Banker, Lawsky covered various issues, including data management, financial regulation, payments technology and cyber security.

When asked about whether he would consult bitcoin companies, Lawsky noted that if he would have clients in the cryptocurrency space, he won’t be able to do anything regarding BitLicense.

Lawsky said that he is not allowed working on matters related to his experience with the department. He added that he was banned from doing any work before the department within a two-year period.

“The rules are clear. I can’t work in the Bitcoin space on anything related to my work at NYDFS or BitLicense,” Lawsky explained. It means he can’t be hired to assist cryptocurrency companies apply for and get a BitLicense.

After quitting his job as a superintendent of NYDFS, Lawsky opened his own consulting and legal company, called The Lawsky Group. According to the company’s website, it was registered on June 17, while the domain name was registered in the beginning of May.

The firm’s address is 27 East 62nd Street in Manhattan, although the 62nd Street building is still under construction. Reuters reported Lawsky is planning to move into the building this fall.

Lawsky step fown from his post at the department on June 16, after four years of serving at the agency, where he worked with cases against global banks over misconduct.

He first got himself a name when in 2012 he threatened to cancel UK-based Standard Chartered Plc’s license to work in the state of New York, because the bank was accused of violations regarding US sanctions.

CEO of Digital Currency Group, Barry Silbert, and Digital Asset Holdings CEO Blythe Masters were also featured at the event.

Blythe Masters, who is one of the prominent figures in the bitcoin sector, currently serves as Chief Executive at Digital Asset Holdings. During her speech at the conference, Masters revealed her support for digital currency. Besides, she believes the blockchain technology holds huge potential, noting that financial assets can be handled the way bitcoin handles transactions.

However, Masters added that it is too early to speak on the future of blockchain in the financial system. Instead, the industry will have to concentrate on regulatory issues.

Bitcoin News, Cryptocurrency news, Editor's Choice, News
Polina Chernykh

Polina is an undergraduate student at Belarusian State Economic University (BSEU) where she is studying at the faculty of International Business Communication for a degree specializing in Intercultural Communication. In her spare time she enjoys drawing, music and travelling.

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