BitGo onboards former NYDFS and BitLicense regulator as COO

Crypto custody firm BitGo has added a New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) veteran as its chief operating officer.

The firm announced Tuesday it has onboarded former BitLicense compliance head Cassandra Lentchner. Lentchner previously oversaw the BitLicense framework during her time with the NYDFS. She solidified the licensing framework before focusing on areas of the law related to cybersecurity at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. 

Lentchner will act as COO across BitGo’s trust companies, which are licensed in South Dakota and New York. The firm is also waiting for approval of a federal charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). On Tuesday, acting U.S. Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu announced it would be reviewing pending actions related to crypto. Hsu said he plans to include more stakeholder feedback in the staff review of OCC actions. 

Prior to the announcement of the OCC’s staff review, Lentchner said in an interview with The Block that she encourages industry participants to give feedback to the many branches of government weighing in on the issue of bank charters and qualified custodianship. Members of Congress have already vocalized their intention to bring stakeholders into the conversation. 

“Having been a regulator and having developed these rules in the state of New York, I can just emphasize that the amount of input that you get from the industry to understand the financial services and products that are available and that can be provided — it’s critical to have that understanding when making these rules,” she said. 

Lentchner is onboarding amid BitGo’s merger with Galaxy Digital. After months of reportedly looking for a buyer, the custody firm announced Galaxy would acquire it by the end of Q4 2021.

Lentchner said the move will create “a real full-service financial institution for digital assets for the whole ecosystem,” and open both up to a variety of new clients.


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