The three-year veteran of the NYDFS was involved in the formation of the New York BitLicense, the controversial licensing regime for digital currency businesses seeking to serve consumers in the US state. The move is perhaps surprising given the originally skeptical outlook on the technology Alter voiced at the New York BitLicense hearings in early 2014.
At the two-day event, Alter was perhaps the most outspoken of NYDFS representatives on the potential downsides of digital currency regulation, arguing that the state’s money laundering obligations should take priority over innovation and that the decentralized payment network’s mining community represented a “systemic threat” to its operations.
In interview, Alter indicated that his opinion on the technology has since evolved as he became “incredibly fascinated” with developments in the field. Today, he finds that bitcoin and the blockchain could offer solutions for the very challenges it seemed to initially pose.
Alter told CoinDesk:
“At NYDFS, I had a special focus on anti-money laundering and economic sanctions enforcement. I thought [blockchain technology] had incredible applications and if it grows and is adopted more broadly could … reduce regulatory costs. There’s substantial time and effort that goes into compliance and this may provide an important answer to that problem.”
Alter framed his interest in a position at itBit as an extension of his interests in compliance and regulation.
“Over the months it came to pass I had this opportunity with itbit and thought this was a tremendous opportunity to pursue that,” he said.
As for any potential conflict of interest from the appointment, Alter stated his position that he did not participate in the granting of itBit’s
Originally appeared at: http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-exchange-itbit-hires-nydfs-lawyer-for-compliance-role/