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With less than a month to go before the US election, one distributed ledger startup's chief executive is making the pitch for a national 'FinTech advisor'.

Chris Larsen, CEO of Ripple, is calling for the next US president to appoint an advisor to help navigate the rapidly changing financial technology sector. In a new blog post, released today, Larsen argues that technology is redrawing the boundaries of finance – and that the US government needs to take action to keep American companies competitive.

His words of caution come weeks before Americans head to the polls on 8th November, an election that will likely see Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump taking the top public office.

Larsen wrote:

"If we are to stay on top economically, if we are to find a way to close the gap of economic inequality, this is the key. New technologies like blockchain will be a catalyst to increase financial inclusion and lower the barriers to commerce."

Thus far, only Clinton has weighed in on the subject of blockchain, indicating support for some form of national policy in a campaign statement published in June. To date, Trump's campaign has declined to discuss the tech when reached.

Easing conditions for startups

Larsen argued that such a forward stance on policy would help ease even the geographical challenges facing US-based business today. The distance between Washington DC, New York and Silicon Valley, he said, put those headquartered in major cities at a disadvantage.

He reasoned that the appointment of a FinTech advisor to the White House could help educate an otherwise uninformed president about new technologies.

"It's a lot of the way Washington works," he said. "You get new things in the world and new things fall through the cracks. An advisor can be a bridge until a new institution is created."

Larsen went on to say that a FinTech advisor to the president could help ease concerns in another key area: regulation.

He wrote:

"In their eagerness to protect American consumers, regulators can unintentionally paralyze positive innovation. Our next president must have reliable expert advice to temper that instinct, and to seize this magic moment."

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Ripple.

Image credit: a katz /


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