Superintendent Lawsky to Leave the NYDFS and Start Consulting Business; Cato Institute Cries Foul

The Wall Street Journal reports that Benjamin Lawsky, the superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) who is expected to issue this month a new regulation for digital currency businesses called BitLicense, which has been widely criticized for being unnecessarily strict, will leave the NYDFS in June. Lawsky said that he will form a consulting business that will include virtual currency advisory services. “[Lawsky] plans to advise companies on financial matters such as cybersecurity and digital currencies like bitcoin, a new sphere of regulation he helped spearhead in New York,” reports the New York Post. In a recent Medium post titled “How to Prevent New York from Becoming the Bitcoin Backwater of the U.S.,” MIT Digital Currency […]

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Canada’s First Fintech and Banking Innovation Conference is Coming to Vancouver

On June 3, 2015, Vancouver, British Columbia, will host “Digital Finance 2015,” Canada’s first fintech and banking innovation conference, at the Vancouver Club on West Hastings in the city’s trendy West End. Digital Finance 2015 will feature two keynote speakers: Peter Vander Auwera, co-founder of Innotribe innovation will talk about “Innovation in banking: from tactics to strategy.” Sam Maule, emerging payments expert with Carlisle & Gallagher, and one of the “top innovation influencers” will talk about “FinTech’s Disruptive Force in Banking.“ Other speakers include representatives from Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), Citi (New York), and Overstock (New York). White Paper on Women in Fintech will be released Organizer Christine Duhaime of the […]

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An Analysis of the Ripple Labs FinCEN Enforcement Action

This is a guest post by Joe Ciccolo, DCC Member and CEO of BitAML. Background  The Ripple Labs settlement agreement, the first civil enforcement action brought against a digital currency exchange, demonstrates the perils of piecemeal AML compliance and delayed implementation. Last week, Ripple Labs, the popular payment system, currency exchange and remittance network, reached a settlement with FinCEN and the US DOJ in which it acknowledged AML compliance violations and agreed to fines in excess of $1.1 million. And that’s just the beginning. (More on the true financial and operational cost to Ripple Labs in a moment.) So what happened? And how can we learn from this enforcement action? Analysis When Ripple Labs began blazing its trail in the world […]

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‘Tonight My Filibuster Continues’: Rand Paul to Take Another Stand Against ‘Illegal NSA Spying’

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Friday night that he would take another stand against what he called “illegal NSA spying.” “Tonight my filibuster continues,” the Republican presidential candidate wrote on Facebook. “See you late tonight – and possibly even overnight.”
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Senate Rejects Action on Patriot Act; NSA Spying Powers Likely to Lapse

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul led a successful effort to block renewal of the Patriot Act early Saturday morning, followed by a deeply divided Senate leaving Washington without taking action on the National Security Agency’s soon-to-expire power to collect Americans’ phone records. Unless there’s a dramatic turnaround, the surveillance powers are going to at least temporarily lapse at midnight on May 31.
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PATRIOT Act on Life Support After Rand Paul Stymies Renewal Efforts

Paul, the libertarian firebrand and GOP presidential hopeful, pushed the Senate into the wee hours of Saturday to protest the bulk collection of phone records, as weary and recess-hungry senators trudged through a packed to-do list — finishing trade legislation but getting stuck on the PATRIOT Act issues.
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West Wing Week: 05/22/2015 or, “@POTUS”

This week was National Police Week, and the President honored fallen officers at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service; celebrated the reform efforts of police officers in Camden, New Jersey; signed the National Blue Alert Act to help protect police officers; and congratulated the graduates at the 134th Commencement of the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut. POTUS also sent his first tweet. That’s May 15 to May 21 or, “@POTUS!”

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Listen: A Conversation on Community Policing

Over the past few months, hundreds of thousands of Americans have signed petitions on our We the People petitions platform related to community policing, in the wake of the police-involved deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, and others. This week, we invited these petition signers to join a White House call about improving community-police relations.

Yesterday’s conversation participants included:

  • Roy Austin, Deputy Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs, Justice, and Opportunity
  • Brittany Packnett, Member of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
  • DJ Patil, U.S. Chief Data Scientist
  • David Wilkinson, Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation

During the call, they highlighted new steps we’re taking to improve community-police relations through the use of open data, demilitarizing local police forces, and other recommendations from the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

The participants also answered some questions that petition signers submitted in advance of the call — questions such as what we can achieve by looking at police data on a national level, or how we can change the view of the community to one where police are seen as “guardians” instead of “occupiers.”

If you missed yesterday’s call, you can listen to the full discussion below. (And if you want to be in the loop about future events like this, make sure to visit We the People and add your voice by creating or signing a petition.)

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