Company and Industry News
POLITICO: Treasury lists digital currency addresses in sanctions for first time, by Patrick Temple-West - November 28, 2018
"Today's announcement from the U.S. Treasury Department is a significant development," said John Beccia, co-founder and CEO of FS Vector, an advisory firm. "This action highlights the potential risks associated with these transactions and unique challenges for industry and regulators alike."
Ethereum World News: Binance Kicks Iranians Out Of Its Platform, Tells Them To Withdraw Their Cryptos As Soon As Possible, by Nick James - November 17, 2018
According to John Collins, many companies are making huge efforts to maintain their status in the US market, and that means going by the rules put in place by the US government. John Collins is the former head of Policy for Coinbase, and he now works as a partner at FS Vector, a Washington-based consulting firm. With the US reviving its sanctions on Iran, Binance finds itself in a corner because it can no longer serve Iranians and US citizens at the same time – especially now that about 13% of its total user traffic originates from the United States.
CoinDesk: Binance Warns Iranian Traders to Withdraw Crypto Amid Sanctions, by Leigh Cuen - November 15, 2018
Indeed, BitMex and Bittrex are just a few of the many exchanges that banned Iranian users over the past year, sometimes without refunding the crypto they held for these customers. “It would be difficult [for the exchanges] to serve users in these jurisdictions if they want to serve American citizens,” John Collins, a partner at the FS Vector consulting firm in Washington, D.C., and former head of policy at Coinbase, told CoinDesk. “It’s logical to say that many companies are looking to the States right now and adapting to the U.S. regulation.” As such, Dehqan said this has forced the Iranian bitcoin community to band together to create local businesses and support networks.
CoinDesk: Middle East’s First Central Bank-Backed Crypto Exchange to Launch in 2019, by Leigh Cuen - October 9, 2018
But Rain has also been fortunate in that “Bahrain is a really advanced and progressive regulator in the region,” Almoaiqel said. And the sandbox environment allowed the company to show the Central Bank of Bahrain how it would operate while limiting the damage should something go wrong. “Whatever goes into a sandbox is designed to be small enough to fail, so that if it doesn’t work out there is remediation available,” noted John Collins, a partner at the advisory firm FS Vector in Washington, D.C. and former head of policy and government affairs at Coinbase. Aside from giving startups “a safe space to work with regulators,” Collins said, sandbox programs around the world are creating “regulatory bridges” across jurisdictions, such as the cooperation between the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority. “That’s another added benefit, especially for crypto exchanges,” Collins told CoinDesk. “If you are able to be in a sandbox but interacting with any number of different regions at the same time, that is a uniquely good fit for a crypto product.”
Corporate Counsel: From GC to Founder: How Circle's Former Top Lawyer Set Up a Consultancy for Crypto, Fintech, by Kristen Rasmussen - August 7, 2018
In June, John Beccia left his role as general counsel and chief compliance officer at Circle Internet Financial to set up his own shop: FS Vector, a Washington D.C.-based consultancy for the financial services, fintech and cryptocurrency industries. Beccia was one of the first employees at Circle when he joined the Boston-based peer-to-peer payments startup in October 2013. He now hopes to draw on his experience in helping build a global crypto finance company to assist others in the space. Beccia, who started FS Vector with former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau deputy director Raj Date, spoke with Corporate Counsel reporter Kristen Rasmussen about his move and some of the challenges associated with cryptocurrency.
POLITICO Morning Money: FORMER CFPB DEPUTY TO ADVISE FINTECHS, CRYPTO FIRMS, by Victoria Guida & Aubree Eliza Weaver - July 13, 2018
Raj Date, former acting CFPB deputy director and onetime FSOC staffer, has teamed up with Circle general counsel John Beccia III to launch FS Vector, “a new advisory firm created to help innovative financial services companies implement fintech and regtech initiatives, establish best practices, and navigate complex regulatory and legislative challenges.” John Collins, former head of policy at Coinbase, will also be a partner in the firm.
Cryptovest: Ex-Regulator Targets Crypto, Fintech Companies with New Consulting Venture, by Anatol Antonovici - July 13, 2018
Date’s initiative is driven by the uncertainty and ambiguousness in current legislation related to cryptocurrencies and the fintech industry in general. US agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Treasury Department are thinking about ways of integrating tech companies into the finance-oriented legal framework. The regulators have decided that cryptocurrencies require greater oversight given the high volatility and concerns over money laundering or terrorist financing. On the other hand, companies trying to embrace digital trends may find it challenging due to government regulations that have not been updated to reflect the impact of technological innovations.
Axios: Pro Rata, by Dan Primack - July 12, 2018
Scoop: FS Vector today is launching as a new advisory firm for financial services companies, with a particular focus on regulatory, compliance and risk identification issues associated with emerging financial technologies.
It's co-founded by Raj Date (first deputy director of the CFPB, co-founder of Fenway Summer Ventures) and John Beccia (ex-general counsel and chief compliance offer for crypto finance juggernaut Circle). Beccia will serve as CEO, while Date will serve as an advisor on select engagements when needed. Also involved is John Collins, a onetime Hill staffer who served as head of policy for Coinbase until 2016.
Fenway Summer is the financial sponsor of both FS Vector and Fenway Summer Ventures, but this isn't a value-add sort of thing for the VC group's portfolio companies. These are separate endeavors.
Bloomberg: Ex-CFPB Deputy to Guide Crypto Firms Through Regulatory Thicket, by Robert Schmidt - July 12, 2018
A former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau deputy director turned venture capitalist is opening a consulting shop to help cryptocurrency and digital banking companies navigate Washington. Raj Date’s new firm, FS Vector, said in a statement that it will focus on regulatory, legislative and compliance issues. Along with crypto clients, FS Vector plans to work with other financial technology companies such as robo advisers, online lenders and digital-payment providers, as well as traditional banks.
The New York Times: Other Countries Forge Ahead on Crypto Regulations, by Laura Shin - June 27, 2018
“There has been a hesitancy on the part of these regulators to regulate because they don’t want to grant these businesses a seal of approval,” Mr. Collins said. “The fear on the part of the industry at this point shouldn’t be that there’s a crackdown, but that they’ll be ignored because no one is going to take them seriously. And if no one takes them seriously, and they still can’t get bank accounts, that’s a problem.”