New BaFin chief Branson a crypto hopeful?

“More bite”: new BaFin chief Branson a crypto hopeful?

Since the Wirecard scandal, the air has become thinner and thinner for BaFin head Felix Hufeld. It had been clear for a long time that Hufeld would have to step down. But the successor had not yet been decided. With Mark Branson, BaFin is now bringing in a crypto-friendly boss.

After the revelations of the billion-dollar balance sheet fraud scandal, whose complex web still has wide circles in business and politics, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) fought for its own reputation. As a rule, it is the BaFin that tightens the thumbscrews on Crypto Cash scam unclean financial transactions. In recent months, the game has turned. The ongoing investigation has shown that the authority did not always live up to its own requirements and rules in the past. With the separation of the still-BaFin head Felix Hufeld, the authority wants to draw a line and make a new start. To this end, the authority is bringing in personnel reinforcements from the neighbouring country. Mark Branson, the (still) head of the Swiss financial market supervisory authority Finma, will become the new BaFin president and could give the crypto location Germany the necessary impetus for modernisation.

Branson becomes new BaFin head

According to the press release of the German Federal Ministry of Finance, Mark Branson “is to become the new president of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) according to the will of Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz”. Felix Hufeld is to clear the table for his successor in the middle of the year:

I am delighted that we have succeeded in gaining Mark Branson, an experienced, internationally highly recognised expert, for the German financial supervisory authority. With him at the helm, we want to continue the reform of BaFin so that the financial supervisory authority has more bite. Confidence in Germany as a financial centre is important and BaFin is a key factor for confidence.
Olaf Scholz

Branson, a mathematics graduate, joined Finma in 2010 and has chaired the authority as director since 2014. “More bite” is something Branson could also show in the future when it comes to shaping Germany as a crypto-financial centre. After all, in dealing with the crypto economy, Switzerland has proven to be extremely regulation-friendly in recent years. It is not for nothing that the Swiss canton of Zug with its Crypto Valley is considered the European epicentre for crypto and blockchain service providers. As head of Finma, Branson, who avowedly wants to promote innovations in the token economy and not put the brakes on them, played no insignificant role in this.

The German community is therefore not placing unjustified hopes in Branson to create a similarly crypto-friendly climate. Speaking to BTC-ECHO, Sven Hildebrandt, managing director of DLC Distributed Ledger Consulting GmbH and creator of a petition to get the Bundesbank to create Bitcoin reserves, explained:

The appointment of Mark Branson is undoubtedly overwhelmingly positive for the crypto ecosystem in Germany. FINMA has already shown in the past that it is open-minded towards blockchain issues. I expect that in the future we will be much faster in Germany when it comes to topics such as the eWPG.

It remains to be seen whether the BaFin will adopt more crypto-friendly tones in future as a result of the change in personnel. Only a few days ago, the authority again warned of the risks of loss and dangers of crypto investments. Nevertheless, Hildebrandt told BTC-ECHO, the news is “a really, really great development”.


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