14 Former Government Regulators Who Are Now Shilling Crypto

   Former Acting White House Chief of Staff and Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney in 2019.

Former Acting White House Chief of Staff and Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney in 2019.
Photo: Alex Wong (Getty Images)

Washington is filled with a revolving door of people who work in government and then go on to use that experience getting highly paid gigs in the private sector. And while we’re used to seeing that in areas like healthcare and defense, there’s a new game in town. Everyone wants to get hired to work on crypto.

Today, we’ve got 14 examples of people who used to work as regulators for the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Treasury Department, and many more agencies who then went on to work for places like Coinbase, Binance, and other firms interested in lobbying the government for more relaxed rules around cryptocurrencies.

Mick Mulvaney

Mick Mulvaney at CPAC on Feb. 28, 2020 where he suggested the only reason the media was covering the coronavirus was to harm Donald Trump. The current U.S. death toll from covid-19 is nearly 1 million people.

It was announced last week that Mick Mulvaney, a man complicit in a countless number of the worst offenses of the Trump regime, has been hired by Astra Protocol, a crypto company specializing in navigating the world of government compliance. And Mulvaney could be an asset, given that he was not only Donald Trump’s chief of staff, he was the director of the Office of Management and Budget and acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Before that he was a Republican congressman who rode in on the anti-Obama Tea Party wave in 2010. So, yeah, he knows Washington and every loophole imaginable, no doubt.

Scott Bauguess

Image for article titled 14 Former Government Regulators Who Are Now Shilling Crypto

Image: Illustration by Thiago Prudencio/SOPA Images/LightRocket – Photo via SEC

Scott Bauguess, former SEC Deputy Director, was hired by Coinbase to become the VP of Global Regulatory Policy in February of 2022. Bauguess worked at the SEC for 12 years.

Michele Korver

Michele Korver speaking at the National Opioid Summit on October 25, 2018.

Michele Korver worked as the Chief Digital Currency Advisor at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). And last month she announced she’d be moving over to become the Head of Regulatory at venture capital firm a16z.

Jay Clayton

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton awaits the start of a hearing on Capitol Hill September 24, 2019 in Washington, DC.

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton awaits the start of a hearing on Capitol Hill September 24, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Photo: Win McNamee (Getty Images)

Jay Clayton, former head of the SEC from 2017 until 2020, was hired to be an advisor by Fireblock, an Israel-based crypto firm worth $2 billion, according to Forbes. Clayton also advises One River Digital Asset Management, a $2.5 billion crypto hedge fund.

Brian Brooks

Brian Brooks, CEO of Bitfury, speaks during a hearing with the House  Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on January 20, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Brian Brooks, CEO of Bitfury, speaks during a hearing with the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on January 20, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Photo: Anna Moneymaker (Getty Images)

Brian Brooks, former acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, was hired by Binance U.S. in April of 2021. Brooks stepped down after just three months but moved to Netherlands-based Bitcoin-mining company Bitfury to become CEO in November of 2021.

Christian Sabella

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Image: SEC – Illustration by Thiago Prudencio/SOPA Images/LightRocket

Christian Sabella, former deputy director at the SEC, was hired by Coinbase in June of 2021. Sabella worked at the SEC for over a decade, according to CoinDesk.

Max Baucus

U.S. Ambassador to China, Max Baucus meets the media in the U.S. Embassy on March 18, 2014 in Beijing, China.

U.S. Ambassador to China, Max Baucus meets the media in the U.S. Embassy on March 18, 2014 in Beijing, China.
Photo: Lintao Zhang (Getty Images)

Max Baucus, former U.S. Senator from Montana and Senate Finance Committee chairman, was hired by Binance in March of 2021 to be a government liaison. Baucus was also the U.S. ambassador to China under President Barack Obama.

Katie Cox

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Image: LinkedIn

Katie Cox, formerly the manager of the mergers and acquisitions section of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 2010-2020, was hired as an advisor to Wyoming-based crypto bank Avanti in July of 2020.

Thaya Brook Knight

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Image: Cato – Illustration by Thiago Prudencio/SOPA Images/LightRocket

Thaya Brook Knight was a lawyer for the SEC but was hired as Coinbase’s senior public policy manager in January of 2022. Knight also worked for the libertarian think tank the Cato Institute.

Greg Monahan

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Image: Binance

Greg Monahan, a former U.S. Treasury criminal investigator who worked for the government for almost three decades, was hired by Binance in August of 2021. Monahan’s title at Binance is the Global Money Laundering Reporting Officer.

Brett Redfearn

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Image: Illustration by Thiago Prudencio/SOPA Images/LightRocket – SEC

Brett Redfearn, who was the SEC’s Director of the Division of Trading and Markets starting in October 2017, worked at Coinbase for just four months before moving on to crypto company Securitize, Inc. in October of 2021.

Manuel Alvarez

Manuel Alvarez giving an interview to Yahoo Finance in January of 2021, before he left for Binance

Manuel “Manny” Alvarez, the former commissioner at the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, was hired by Binance U.S. in July of 2021. Alvarez was also an enforcement attorney at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from 2011 until 2014 during the Obama administration.

Mary Jo White

SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White, is  interviewed by CQ Roll Call in her Washington office, August 10, 2016.

SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White, is interviewed by CQ Roll Call in her Washington office, August 10, 2016.
Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call (Getty Images)

Mary Jo White, former SEC chair during the Obama administration, was hired by Ripple to defend against the SEC’s scrutiny of the company, according to Fortune magazine. The SEC is suing Ripple for selling unlicensed securities, something White calls “dead wrong.”

Christopher Giancarlo

J. Christopher Giancarlo, Acting Chairman, Commodity Futures Trading  Commission during a press conference at the Bank of England in London in 2019.

J. Christopher Giancarlo, Acting Chairman, Commodity Futures Trading Commission during a press conference at the Bank of England in London in 2019.
Photo: Kirsty O’Connor/PA Images (Getty Images)

Chris Giancarlo, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) under President Trump, joined several crypto companies after leaving government. Giancarlo, who many in the crypto community call “Crypto Dad,” according to CoinDesk, serves on the board of Digital Assets and is a policy advisor to the crypto venture capital firm CoinFund.