Christopher Giancarlo, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioner, was interviewed by Michelle Lee on CNBC, on April 30th, about the current state of regulation for Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies. In his 6 minute interview he talks about how current regulations do not properly apply to Bitcoin because Bitcoin cannot be classified as strictly a virtual asset, currency, or a security; he believes Bitcoin and many Cryptocurrencies are all three.
“Many of the current statutes and regulations that are used in today’s operations were written in 1935…it’s hard to look at those statutes, and look at something as new and innovative as Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies and see where they fall in a regulatory regime that was written decades ago…Truth is that Bitcoin and a lot of its other Cryptocurrency counterparts really have elements of all of the different asset classes, whether a medium of payment or a long term asset.”
This is a problem for the imminent regulation of Bitcoin because lawmakers cannot determine which policies and regulations to follow, or if new ones should be created.
According to Christopher Giancarlo, in his personal conversations with lawmakers, has stated that they recognize Bitcoin is a completely different type of asset and it will require a different way of thinking to understand and properly regulate this space while allowing innovation to prosper.
“It’s still relatively new for us at the regulatory agency and it’s going to take some new open mindedness and some new way of thinking about it for us to get our heads around it entirely…I think there is an appetite amongst a number of congressmen and women and senators that I have spoken to, to approach this with new eyes and thinking. I think there is a growing chorus on Capitol Hill for some rethinking here.”
It is very important for lawmakers and regulators to tread carefully when deciding on what policies will be put in place because if they decide on over-regulation, all of the innovation that could take place in the US, will move to a more crypto friendly country; Malta, Bermuda, etc…
“At the end of the day it’s for congress and not regulators to decide whether new policies should be evolved for these new asset classes.”
No matter how much crypto investors love Giancarlo for his positive attitude towards Bitcoin, it is up to US citizens and lobbyists to educate their representatives so they can understand the importance of Bitcoin’s innovations and not over-regulate the space.
In the last six months Bitcoin futures have begun trading on two large exchanges, CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) and CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange), and he expressed how well those contracts were working.
“We have seen the licensing and operation of bitcoin futures contracts, which are cash settled contracts on bitcoin, operated by our two largest exchanges, CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) and CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange) and those contracts are working quite well.”
In an interview last week with IFLR’s (International Financial Law Review) reporter, John Crabb, Christopher Giancarlo confirmed that he does not plan to seek reappointment at the end of his term on April 13, 2019. According to him, he will continue to serve in his current role until the President names a successor, even if that time takes him past his April 13th end date. This is unfortunate for all Crypto investors as he has shown a positive attitude towards Bitcoin and the blockchain space.