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  • Mathew Jacob

Ripple Advisor, Michael Barr, Appointed as Federal Reserve's Vice Chairman by President Biden


In a move of considerable importance, Michael Barr, a former Treasury Department official and former adviser to Ripple Labs, has been designated by President Joe Biden as the Federal Reserve's vice chairman for supervision. This appointment arrives amid ongoing endeavors to tackle economic challenges, notably including the most elevated inflation rates witnessed in the past four decades.


Barr's affiliation with Ripple Labs dates back to 2015, when he assumed an advisory capacity. Notably, Ripple Labs has been embroiled in a substantial legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over allegations related to the sale of unregistered securities in the form of XRP tokens, amounting to a value of $1.3 billion. While Barr's present status as an adviser remains unclear due to his absence from LinkedIn's professional listings, it is evident that his connection with Ripple has come to an end. Despite efforts to obtain a response from Ripple concerning Barr's departure, no comment has been received as of the time of publication.


This appointment marks a significant juncture for the Federal Reserve, effectively reconstituting a complete board for the first time since 2013. The weight of this development is accentuated by the current economic landscape, with the United States grappling with its most pronounced inflationary pressures in recent history. Barr's designation fills a vacancy that has persisted since late 2021, following the departure of Fed governor Randal Quarles in October.


In his role as a supervisor for the US central bank, Barr is expected to heighten daily oversight over major financial institutions as well as smaller financial entities contributing to the broader economy. An especially notable aspect of his role entails shaping regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrencies and stablecoins, aligning with the Biden administration's prioritization of these matters.


The announcement of Barr's appointment was accompanied by a statement from Jerome Powell, the Chairman of the Fed, emphasizing the commitment to uphold the authority of the individual undertaking the supervision role, given their pivotal role in shaping the regulatory agenda.


Transitioning from his position at the University of Michigan's Gerald F. Ford School of Public Policy, Barr emphasized during a May hearing his dedication to stabilizing inflation and upholding a resilient financial system, in line with the Fed's objective of achieving a 2% inflation target.


Concurrently, a compelling collaboration has come to light between the Republic of Palau and Ripple. The two entities have initiated a limited pilot program for a stablecoin named the Palau Stablecoin (PSC), pegged to the US Dollar. The issuance of the PSC will take place on the XRP Ledger (XRPL), a blockchain known for its minimal environmental impact and an extensive transaction history spanning a decade. The initial phase of the pilot program will encompass approximately 200 government employees and local merchants in Palau.


In addition, discussions are underway between Rencom Network, a global rentable asset company, and the Republic of Palau to introduce the acceptance of their native token, RNT, as a payment method for government assets. With RNT gaining acclaim for its transaction speed, cost-effectiveness, and minimal environmental impact, this collaboration holds promise for advancing financial operations.


In conclusion, Michael Barr's selection as the Federal Reserve's vice chairman for supervision underscores his extensive experience in financial policy and advisory roles. With his past involvement with Ripple Labs, Barr brings invaluable insights into the realm of digital assets and blockchain technology. As the United States grapples with economic challenges and endeavors to shape the regulatory landscape for emerging financial technologies, Barr's appointment takes on heightened significance in steering the path forward.


It's worth noting that rumors have circulated suggesting a potential partnership between Rencom Network and Ripple. As both entities collaborate with the Republic of Palau to implement their respective native tokens, XRP and RNT, this potential collaboration adds another layer of intrigue to the evolving landscape of financial innovation and regulation.



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