Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo has decided to retire when his five-year term ends in April of 2019. Having earned the nickname ‘Cryptodad’ after expressing a friendly stance toward cryptocurrency on multiple occasions, his retirement leaves the future of crypto in the United States hanging in the balance.
The confirmation of his retirement came in a statement to financial publication IFLR at the annual meeting of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) last week.
Originally appointed during the Obama administration, Giancarlo also said that he is happy to serve until the current President names a successor, which could add several years onto his current term (if the President keeps him on until the end of the current administration’s reign).
Giancarlo was dubbed ‘Cryptodad’ after an opening statement for a congressional hearing in which he explained the role that cryptocurrencies have played in the lives of his younger family members.
“It strikes me that we owe it to this new generation to respect their enthusiasm to respect their enthusiasm about virtual currencies with a thoughtful and balanced response, not a dismissive one,” he said, adding that cryptocurrencies made his own children and niece interested in investing for the first time.
During his reign at the CFTC, Giancarlo has overseen the launch and development of the first regulated Bitcoin futures products that launched on CME and CBOE last year. The CFTC has also made efforts to crack down on crypto-related scams under Giancarlo.
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The Chairman has also expressed his support for cryptocurrencies from time to time over Twitter, a factor that has irritated critics who believe that crypto shouldn’t be legally legitimized.
— Chris Giancarlo (@giancarloCFTC) March 2, 2018
Even if Giancarlo’s term of public service is over in April of next year, the US government has taken a rather balanced attitude toward cryptocurrency regulation. While SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has begun to go after fraudulent ICOs and other crypto-related financial crimes, the government seems to have been careful not to stifle innovation within the blockchain sector.
At the same time, however, a lack of regulatory clarity has made a growing number of blockchain firms hesitant to move forward with their business in the US.