CFTC Chairman: Crypto and Blockchain Influencing Global Markets

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Amongst the many factors that are transforming the global financial market, cryptocurrency and blockchain were singled out by the outgoing CFTC Chairman in a March 14, 2019 speech.  

Namedropping

The crypto industry and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) are constantly crossing paths, whether they are receiving feedback from the industry or investigating possible manipulation.

However, it has become clear that the commission does acknowledge crypto and blockchain’s Influence on the industry, at least that is what can be deciphered from Christopher Giancarlo’s final speech as the CFTC chairman on March 14, 2019. This took place at the 44th Annual International Futures Industry Conference where Giancarlo gave an address titled, “Improving the Past, Tackling the Present, and Advancing to a Digital Market Future.”

High Impact

During his speech, Christopher Giancarlo stated that the agency’s fintech innovation hub LabCFTC acts as their stakeholder in the evolving financial market.

Touching on said evolution within the market, he noted that the disintermediation of traditional actors and business models were key factors that challenged the already existing regulatory models. The business market, he added, is being transformed by a number of factors, which include blockchain and cryptocurrency.

As a means of coping and staying on top of the ever-changing market, the CFTC established its fintech center which acts as its own stakeholder in the market. By being directly involved, they are able to see the changes happening from the point of view of both a regulatory body and a market participant. This way, better regulation can take place.

Since its inception two years ago, the LabCFTC has engaged in over 250 interactions with both large and small innovators, as well as conducting lab hours across the world.

Giancarlo was quick to note that the LabCFTC is not a sandbox and is subject to regulatory laws itself. Instead, it provides internal and external technological focus.

“Internally, it means explaining technology innovation to agency staff and other regulators and advocating for technology adoption. Externally, that means reaching out and learning about technological change and market evolution, while providing a dedicated liaison to innovators,”

Developments like the LabCFTC are not uncommon as the chairman pointed out, as many regulatory bodies around the world have set up their own labs. LabCFTC has been able to sign global fintech cooperation agreements in places such as London, Singapore, and Australia.

Before ending his speech, Giancarlos stated that the commission is looking to become a quantitative regulator that will utilize independent market data analysis across different data sources, including decentralized blockchains and networks.

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