U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo says the development of cryptocurrencies require caution and a “do-no-harm approach” to innovation.
Speaking to CNBC at the annual Singapore Summit, Giancarlo says he’s advocating for the same approach that allowed the internet to grow. That means no heavy-handed regulations that can stifle progress.
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At the same time, Giancarlo is taking a hard stance against fraud and manipulation in the crypto markets.
“When it comes to fraud and manipulation, we need to be strong. When it comes to policy making, I think we need to be slow and deliberate and well informed.”
He says the CFTC has been forwarding thinking, evidenced by their approval of the first regulated Bitcoin futures. “No other regime in the world has allowed this to go forward.”
But some accuse the regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service, of being too slow to establish clear guidelines and a clear regulatory framework, which would allay fears and concerns for institutional investors who want exposure to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
To broaden the dialog and clarify technical complexities, several companies in the crypto industry, including Coinbase and Circle, have formed the Blockchain Association which will advocate on behalf of the industry.
Meanwhile, five cryptocurrency exchanges have joined to establish a new self-regulatory body to improve standards and support policymakers. The Virtual Commodity Association Working Group includes initial participants Bitstamp, Inc., bitFlyer USA, Inc., Bittrex, Inc., and Gemini Trust Company, LLC.
Policymakers, crypto exchanges and blockchain enterprises all agree that regulation is delicate because the space is complex and new. It advances technologies that will have wide-ranging implications that are capable of transforming both consumer behaviors and the long-standing legacy systems of traditional platforms across every industry, including banking and trading, supply chain logistics, government agencies and travel.