In a rare interview, the Chairman of the United States Commodities Futures Trading Commission, Christopher Giancarlo, has declared cryptocurrencies are “here to stay.”
Speaking to CNBC about the current state of cryptocurrency regulation in the US, Giancarlo compared the sector to the early years of the internet.
“Do you worry that if the US does not do more to innovate, that the crypto innovation is going to go overseas?” asked CNBC correspondent Bob Pisani.
“It’s the United States that’s gone forward with the very first Bitcoin derivatives, with Bitcoin futures trading on the CME and also Bitcoin options and Bitcoin clearing – we’re ahead of the world on that,” replied Giancarlo.
“There’s no question the United States is leading in some areas, but there’s other areas as well, of innovation, where I think it makes sense for us to take a little bit more of a thoughtful and intelligent approach, just as the US Congress did 20 years ago in the early stages of the internet.”
The Washington-based regulator, who’s been dubbed ‘CryptoDad’ due to his forward-thinking approach to cryptocurrencies, shared his thoughts on the evolution of the Bitcoin market.
“I personally think that cryptocurrencies are here to stay, there’s a future for them.
“I’m not sure that they ever come to rival the dollar, or other hard currencies, but there’s a whole section of the world that really is hungry for functioning currencies.
“There’s 140 countries in the world, everyone of them has a currency, probably two-thirds of them are not worth the polymer or the paper they’re written on.
“Bitcoin may solve some of the problems, whether it’s Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency,” he said.
The US SEC has so far been reluctant to approve a Bitcoin ETF, despite the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) allowing the trading of Bitcoin futures.
“We’re old agencies, our statutes are written in the 1930,” admitted Giancarlo.
“The SEC, their oversight is over capital formation markets, with a big retail focus.”
“At the CFTC, our focus is on risk transfer markets and we’ve always focussed on derivates and a lot of that is institutional trading… So we do come at these things from different perspectives.
— CNBC's Fast Money (@CNBCFastMoney) October 1, 2018