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“Cryptocurrencies are here to stay” – This recent quote doesn’t belong to a crypto enthusiast or investor, nor to a startup company that launches its initial coin offering (ICO), and not even to an overzealous blogger. This quote was made by the chairman, no less, of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – the regulatory government agency that oversees futures and option markets.
In an interview with CNBC’s Fast Money, the CFTC Chair Chris Giancarlo discussed the current state and the important issues concerning the cryptocurrency industry. Giancarlo first addressed how he views his own agency’s role in regulating cryptocurrencies
We’re very focused on the fraud and manipulation aspects of cryptocurrency markets, and in fact, last week we just won a big victory in court in Boston, certifying our authority to prosecute fraud and manipulation in the crypto space. We’ve been very active at it.
Giancarlo has every reason to boast his genuine critical triumph in Massachusetts District Court: the judge decided that a motion to dismiss by the defense team of an alleged crypto scam holds no merit since virtual currencies are indeed commodities and therefore can fall within the legal purview of the CFTC. This ruling could have significant long-term consequences, setting another judicial precedent in favor of government regulators after a federal judge has determined that security laws apply to initial coin offerings (ICOs).
After briefly discussing how the U.S. is leading the world in some financial-crypto intersections, Giancarlo moved on to affirm that he believes that in terms of regulation he thinks that there should be “a little bit more thoughtful and intelligent approach,” comparing this burgeoning market with the budding internet two decades earlier. This is in fact another reiteration of prior statement made by Giancarlo, indicating that heavy crypto regulation isn’t necessary.
A little later, Giancarlo released the most interesting statements in the interview, essentially professing his belief in cryptocurrencies.
I personally believe that cryptocurrencies are here to stay; I think there’s a future for them. I’m not sure 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 that they can’t find in their local currencies. There’s 140 countries in the world, every one of them has a currency; probably two-thirds of them are not worth the polymer, the paper, they’re written on. Those parts of the world rely on hard currencies; Bitcoin may solve some of the problems.
Cryptocurrencies in general, and Bitcoin specifically, receive a badge of trust from the CFTC honcho. Fascinating days, fascinating days indeed.