The Chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Christopher Giancarlo, recently outlined the agency’s interest in blockchain technology. During a Congressional hearing which took place on July 25th, the chairman emphasized the need for appropriate procedures that would allow the CFTC to examine innovative blockchain tech for future and potential use cases.
The hearing was titled “Examining the Upcoming Agenda for the CFTC” and was convened by the House Committee on Agriculture. During it, Giancarlo was asked by the Congressman to explain the goals of LabCFTC, which is a hub for “engagement with the fintech innovation community.
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As Giancarlo noted:
“LabCFTC is our front door into these new regulatory fintech developments in the marketplace, and it’s so important to us to be able to understand these innovations that are coming down the pike so fast.”
However, Giancarlo’s most interesting comments were pointed towards the potential adoption of the blockchain. When asked about the importance of the CFTC Research and Development Modernization Act, he explained that:
“…there is a need for a legally sound, fast process of sharing information between the agency and fintech innovators, especially when it comes to blockchain technology.”
The chairman explained why he thinks it is important for the CFTC to establish new legal procedures. He stated:
“We’re falling behind. Just two days ago, the Bank of England announced that they’re putting in a new bank-to-bank payment system in the U.K., and it’s gonna be blockchain-compliant. And they’ve had the last four years (…) to participate in all these blockchain beta tests that we’ve not been able to participate in. (…) So I feel like we’re four years behind, because we do need to test it, (…) we need to see how it can help us do a better job as regulator.
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The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and CFTC recently held a joint hearing on cryptocurrencies. During it, Giancarlo outlined the positive stance on blockchain tech, stating that financial institutions, charities, social services, agriculture and logistics can all benefit from the technology in a number of ways.
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