The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation — a U.S. government agency that provides insurance to banks — is looking to hire a legal counsel with expertise in the area of financial technology and blockchain, per a job ad.
The "FinTech Counsel" role, as outlined in the post, would provide the agency with "support in the areas of providing advice and assistance in connection with legal issues arising from new digital and other forms of technology." The position exists within the FDIC Legal Division's Financial Technology and Innovation Group, Fin Tech Innovation Team.
Among the expertise areas highlighted are "blockchain, blockchain settlement systems, and distributed ledger development; smart contracts, utility settlement coins, and, in general, payments systems, and clearing and settlement." The Utility Settlement Coin mention is an interesting one, given that the term has, in the past, been used to refer to a specific project focused on bank-to-bank payments now known as Fnality. It's possible that the job ad's reference is to blockchain-related interbank payments applications generally rather than one specific project.
In 2018, the FDIC created a fintech-focused innovation group within the agency, and in a statement to Congress last year said that this in-house group "will promote the adoption of innovative and transformative technologies in the financial services sector, help the FDIC better understand how innovation can contribute to the expansion of banking services to the unbanked, underbanked, and individuals in underserved communities as well as promote the adoption of technology that can help community banks compete in the modern financial market place."
"The agency is also monitoring developments in the wholesale financial markets, such as changes to payment systems, distributed ledger technology (e.g., blockchain), smart contracts, and digital assets. Over the last several years, this work has been overseen by the FDIC's Emerging Technology Steering Committee, which is comprised of senior leadership across the FDIC," the agency said at the time.