The Fight for Financial Inclusion with Mary Beth Buchanan

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By BlockWorks Group and Charlie Shrem | BlockWorks Group. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

My guest today is Mary Beth Buchanan, an experienced legal, compliance, business executive and trusted strategic advisor to the CEO and Board of Directors. She currently serves as President, Americas and Global Chief Legal Officer for Merkle Science. Founded in 2018, Merkle Science is the next generation predictive cryptocurrency risk and intelligence platform that helps crypto companies, financial institutions, and government entities detect, investigate, and prevent illegal activities involving cryptocurrencies. Merkle Science’s proprietary Behavioral Rule Engine enables our tools to go beyond blacklists, so that compliance teams may fulfill their local KYC/AML obligations and can stay ahead of bad actors attempting to utilize their platforms for illicit activities. Mary Beth Buchanan brings over three decades of legal and business expertise at the intersection of federal law enforcement, global inter-agency cooperation, corporate compliance, digital assets, and emerging regulatory frameworks. Her unique combination of prosecutorial experience in the U.S. Attorney’s office, ethics and reputational risk assessment for the UN, and focus on internal investigations, corporate compliance, SEC enforcement matters, Congressional investigations, and her digital currency work in private practice make her uniquely suited to her role at Merkle Science and a leader in crypto compliance, regulatory and legal matters. We discuss the importance for regulatory clarity, how crypto empowers financial inclusion, dispelling misconceptions about crypto, understanding the mindset of prosecutors and much more. We begin our conversation by discussing how the perception of crypto has changed over the years. Mary Beth does an excellent job at demonstrating how the regulators' views on crypto shifts when they understand the technology better. She states one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is getting the regulators to understand the permanent nature of transactions on the blockchain. Our conversation transitions slightly to discuss how cryptocurrency empowers people in countries whose political and financial situation is not as stable as the United States. The next topic of discussion is how the lack of regulatory clarity could push the crypto industry from North America to other parts of the globe. Mary Beth was fantastic at explaining both the problem of lack of regulatory clarity and how she would advise regulators on how to approach regulating the space. Our next topic of conversation is the misconceptions from the general public and how companies like Merkle Science are helping change the narrative around crypto. Mary Beth touches on the tremendous amount of progress lawmakers have made to have a good faith approach to understanding crypto and their desire to understand and learn more about the space. A very important topic of our discussion was the need for financial literacy and accountability. Mary Beth demonstrates how crypto enables people to take accountability of their financial future by bestowing them with inalienable property rights and the second order consequences it will bring. In the last part of our conversation Mary Beth breaks down the mentality of prosecutors when prosecuting a case and how she would advise crypto companies who are trying to navigate the space. She stresses the importance of doing due diligence and acting in good faith. She also discusses how prosecutors take a holistic approach when evaluating a situation. We end our conversation by discussing how Merkle Science is providing the tools and education for both lawmakers and crypto operators to become more knowledgeable about the crypto space and how to be regulatory compliant. Please enjoy my conversation with Mary Beth Buchanan.

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