Reports: Ben Lawsky leaving NYDFS for private sector- what fate awaits BitLicense?

NY Daily News reports that Superintendent for the New York Department of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky will be leaving office

NY Daily News reports that Superintendent for the New York Department of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky will be leaving office for the private sector, starting early 2015.

His departure would be one of several among re-elected Governor Andrew Cuomo’s staff. Top aide Larry Schwartz is expected to leave around the same time and Budget Director Robert Megna will depart after Cuomo unveils his state budget in late January.

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Lawsky has served as the NYDFS head since May 2011, the first to serve in this capacity in the newly formed Department.

His name became well-known in the Bitcoin community throughout 2014 as he spearheaded work on regulating the operation of cryptocurrency businesses which have any dealings in his state.

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His proposed “BitLicense”, as a concept, was sought by many hoping to bring Bitcoin more into the mainstream. He remained actively engaged with the community, through interactions such as the virtual currency hearings and a reddit AMA.

However, many in the community were critical of the proposal’s draft, arguing that it is unduly restrictive and that it would stifle innovation.

Should he depart, an uncertain fate awaits his proposal. Lawsky took a special interest in Bitcoin, which may not be replicated by his successor. In a Bloomberg Interview, he estimated the BitLicense proposal reaching its next stage “probably end of the year, early next year.”

Following the uproar stimulated by the BitLicense draft, several businesses may not mind if it fails to come to fruition. Circle, for example, questioned the very need for such a license when considering existing regulations.

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