“Cryptocurrencies Are Here to Stay,” Says CFTC Chairman Christopher Giancarlo

Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Christopher Giancarlo, has said that he believes cryptocurrencies are here to stay.

In an interview with of CNBC’s Fast Money, Giancarlo described the asset class as having a lot of potential in the many countries where the national currency is struggling to maintain value, while also saying that it would not challenge hard currencies like the US Dollar in any meaningful way.

After pointing out that regulatory bodies are being proactive when it comes to tackling fraud and violations, he says that there are some aspects of the space where the U.S. must take a more thoughtful approach.

When asked about what the future of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies might look like, Giancarlo said:

I personally think that cryptocurrencies are here to stay. I think there is a future for them. I’m not sure they ever come to rival the dollar or other hard currencies, but there’s a whole section of the world that really is hungry for functioning currencies that they can’t find in their local currencies. There’s 140 countries in the world, every one of them has a currency. Probably two-thirds are not worth the polymer or the paper they’re written on, and those parts of the world rely on hard currencies. Bitcoin [or another] cryptocurrency may solve some of the problems.

Appointed by President Obama to serve as Commissioner in 2013, Giancarlo has since gone on to chair the commission full time. Titled “cryptodad” by the cryptocommunity for his support and open-mindedness regarding cryptocurrencies, he has on several occasions described his belief in cryptocurrency and the dangers of over-regulation.

In February 2018, he, along with Securities and Exchanges Commission Chairman Jay Clayton, testified before Congress on the subject of cryptocurrencies. The hearing dealt primarily with how the space should be regulated and the enormous positive potential it has for the economy as a whole.

Sentiments in markets and general cryptocommunity improved markedly following the hearing, which featured him saying that “We owe it to this new generation to respect their enthusiasm for virtual currencies, with a thoughtful and balance response, and not a dismissive one.”

Preventing over-regulation so as to not curb innovation has been a consistent theme in Giancarlo’s remarks, with him imploring a “do no harm” approach, and noting how the internet flourished 20 years ago when the US took the responsibility of regulation — while also saying that he is not a “cryptocurrency evangelist’.

Some feel that the US is lagging in this regard, as Estonia, and many other crypto-friendly countries, open themselves up to digital currency.

Related: Cryptocurrency Market Review: Key Data and Insights from Q2 2018