Christopher Giancarlo, Chair of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), has stated cryptos might not replace the dollar, but “there’s a whole section of the world that really is hungry for functioning currencies that they can’t find in their local currencies.” He said:
“There’s 140 countries in the world, every one of them has a currency. Probably two-thirds are not worth the palm or the paper they’re written on. Those parts of the world rely on hard currencies.
Bitcoin may solve some of the problems – whether it’s bitcoin or another cryptocurrency – but we’re talking not two years, we’re talking maybe ten years down the road.”
The chairman further said US is leading in some areas in being the first country in the world to green-light regulated bitcoin futures and options, but there are some areas that need a more thoughtful approach like congress did with the internet 20 years ago.
In explaining the disparity between CFTC allowing futures while the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) keeps denying a bitcoin/crypto ETF, the chairman said they are old agencies, established in the 1930s.
“We’re operating off a 30 year piece of – you might call it – software we’re trying to repurpose for a new innovation that didn’t exist when these statues were written.”
Giancarlo then says more broadly CFTC is focused on institutional investors while SEC is more concerned with retail investors, so the considerations are different.
Congress is now looking at these century old laws with a bill to be presented in a few weeks. Some have suggested the setting up of a crypto specific regulator, but what the draft bill will say remains to be seen.
Giancarlo further argued they are taking a two handed approach. On the one hand they are going hard against fraud or manipulation, while on the other hand they are “innovative and thoughtful” when it comes to innovation.
As an example, he cited an upcoming Fintech conference which they are hosting this week, making them the very first US government agency to do so.