Brian Quintenz, a member of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, says the crypto industry is expanding and is “just going to get bigger.”
In an interview with CNBC, Quintenz says,
“We’ve traditionally been a principles-based regulator. So we’ve tried not to be a prescriptive regulator where those rules are prescribed at one point in time for a snapshot of the marketplace. Then they fail to evolve and they need to be updated.
So if we can come up with principles that can apply to products, whether they’re the traditional commodities like corn and wheat and oil, whether they’re financial commodities, or whether they’re new cryptographic commodities – just putting guardrails around that. Then let the market decide if there’s a business case, a use case or an investment case for those products. As long as we have comfort that they’re appropriately margined and that they’re not readily susceptible to manipulation.”
The US regulator affirms that a principles-based method is what has guided the Commission’s approach to Bitcoin.
“We’ve seen that transition as the market has expanded originally from cash-settled Bitcoin futures contracts – where we were concerned about, or wanted to do some research around, how do these things settle. What are the components of a settlement index? Is it not really susceptible to manipulation?”
Quintenz, alluding to Bakkt, which on track to launch its physically-settled Bitcoin futures on Monday, says,
“Now, moving towards what I think will come online soon, are the physically-settled Bitcoin futures.
And when they’re physically settled, they’re physically collateralized, meaning that these intermediaries – the clearing houses or what we call FCMs [futures commission merchant], our version of broker-dealers – they have to hold those bitcoins as that collateral. So we need to do work, and we have been doing a lot of work, around best practices for crypto custody.”
Quintenz sees the future of cryptocurrencies as expansive.
“I think we’ve already seen a huge expansion. I think it’s just going to get bigger. I think as more established companies get into cryptographic products, whether they’re centralized or decentralized, I think you will see the appeal of all crypto assets increase across the globe.
That will create new challenges for us as a regulator, but we’re ready to meet those challenges.”