Embattled New York superintendent of financial services Benjamin Lawsky is rumored to be stepping down from his post in 2015.
Sources told the New York Daily News the departure is expected as part of a reshuffle of several key positions, with Governor Cuomo’s chief aide Larry Schwartz and others also tipped to leave next year.
“Department of Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky is also expected to leave in early 2015 — bound for the private sector,” the publication writes.
The news comes at a time when Lawsky has been a focal point of the Bitcoin story in the US, as chief architect of the controversial BitLicense legislation.
At the recent Money 20/20 convention in Las Vegas, Lawsky seemingly sought to soften the blow from his initial plan by announcing temporary reprieves for smaller businesses operating in the New York Bitcoin space.
The ‘Temporary BitLicense’ is designed to allow newcomers to the market to commence operations under less of the financial strain engendered by being subject to the full requirements of the main legislation.
Lawsky’s departure at such a juncture thus may well come as a surprise to many. The implications for the regulatory stance of New York legislators to Bitcoin could indeed change once more.
By any means, Lawsky’s absence could reopen the swell of uncertainty surrounding the implementation of the BitLicense proposals, and may well delay their onset or create opportunities for alternatives. Such consequences may rest on his replacement, who could be in office as early as the first months of next year.
The Bitcoin community is viewing the rumors so far with reserved relief especially since Lawsky’s proposals having been regularly cited as “anti-business” by community commentators, as was reiterated in recent Reddit comments on the issue.
The spotlight will now fall on the task of choosing who will be responsible for this emerging issue going forward, at a time when sentiment surrounding increased freedom for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency businesses is running high.
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