Former CFTC President – The Madison Leader Gazette

By on September 26, 2021 0

Cryptocurrencies could usher in the next wave of innovations that will drive economic growth, according to the former head of the Commodities Futures and Trading Commission.

Prior to COVID-19, economic growth and productivity in the United States had leveled off, resulting in stagnant wages. The post-containment era has and pushed to the top.

But digital currencies could be a game-changer and put the economy on a path to much more sustainable growth, according to Chris Giancarlo, the former CFTC regulator who is now co-founder of the Digital Dollar Project.

“The Internet is going to do to finance and make money for itself what it did in retail, what it did in information, what it did in journalism, what it did to so many social circles, ”Giancarlo, who is also a senior lawyer at international law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, told Yahoo Finance in an interview.

Giancarlo believes cryptocurrencies are the key to creating a fully networked global digital economy. He points to China as the first to do so, with the adoption of a central bank digital currency.

“All transactions in their economy, be it securities transactions, future transactions, commercial loans, commercial payments, retail payments, will be fully networked with their digital currency as almost the system of business. ‘software exploitation for a digital economy,’ he said.

According to its logic, this will take huge amounts of percentage points out of the cost and latency of the Chinese economy and cause the world’s second-largest economy to hyperdrive in terms of speed and efficiency.

I believe that the emergence of crypto is very great. This is a multigenerational change in the nature of finance and in the nature of money. The question is to know in which regulatory envelope to fit.Chris Giancarlo, lawyer and former president of the CFTC

Digital coins were troubled on Friday by news that the world’s second-largest economy declared all crypto transactions illegal, the latest move by Beijing to exert more influence over key sectors.

Quoting a passage from his book, Giancarlo said China appeared to mimic a “fight or flight” response from central bankers about whether to co-opt or crack down on Stablecoin’s success.

He pointed out that Beijing has been on the offensive against digital tokens since at least the start of the summer, banning crypto mining, banning online platforms from facilitating crypto transactions and tightening the reins of mobile payments.

“Today’s announcement by China is just a more aggressive version of previous announcements. This does not change my thesis in any way, ”added Giancarlo.

“Costly burden”

Elsewhere, companies like Yellowcard Cardano and others are quickly offering payment services, micro-loans, yield-bearing accounts, and more in places around the world where the infrastructure does not yet exist in the banking industry. traditional.

People in places like Europe and North America are quickly realizing that they can store their assets in accounts that generate a large return – sometimes as much as 10% or more – rather than leaving them in one. brick and mortar bank. “

The US payment system is still clunky, often taking days to cash a check and 30 days for small businesses to receive payment.

“It’s a burden on the economy and it’s expensive,” Giancarlo told Yahoo Finance.

“The cost of transactions is costing Americans 5% or 6% of GDP per year… will we also allow our money to fall behind as the rest of the world moves fast and creates digital money based on tokens ? ” he added.

The former regulator believes the United States is in a space race when it comes to digital currencies. With the proliferation of more digital coins and the influx of investors, regulators are stepping up their oversight of the industry.

Giancarlo wasn’t sure the United States needed to adopt a central bank digital currency in the near term, but America needed to be at the leadership table as innovation exploded.

The Federal Reserve is weighing the pros and cons of adopting a central bank digital currency and is expected to publish a white paper soon. When asked this week if the central bank is falling behind in the crypto race, Fed Chairman Jay Powell said it was “more important to do things right than to do it quickly. “.

Within the US central bank, opinions diverge. Fed Governor Lael Brainard is a champion of the US central bank’s digital currency, but supervisory chief Randy Quarles has expressed doubts.

Over the next decade, Giancarlo believes nation states will move forward, including the United States, in creating a sovereign digital currency. He noted that it will be useful for paying taxes and other government obligations, and will be the dominant form of payment systems in most economies.

The key to making a central bank digital currency work is to ensure that Americans’ privacy is protected.

“If they censor their transactions – if a government comes in and says, well, we’re going to ban it, like China is doing, they can ban some transactions,” he explained. “If governments start using digital money as a political toy, they will destroy its value. “

Regulate Well As Crypto Rises

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 14: Gary Gensler, chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, testifies before a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee watch hearing on the SEC on September 14, 2021 in Washington, DC, DC. (Photo by Evelyn Hockstein-Pool / Getty Images)

But for innovation to take root, regulators need to put in place the right regulations to suit the new class of digital assets. “I believe in regulation,” Giancarlo said. “We have to get regulation, but we have to get it right. “

“I think the emergence of crypto is very important,” Giancarlo told Yahoo Finance. “This is a multigenerational shift in the nature of finance and in the nature of money. know in which regulatory envelope to fit.

As the former chief of the CFTC, Giancarlo was responsible for creating regulations to oversee crypto derivatives and futures as well as derivative trading. Current laws written in the 1930s are archaic, he explained, and while there are parts that can be applied to the crypto world, space requires new rules for the road as well.

“Now we have something fundamentally different from what we had before, and we have to ask ourselves if these regulatory regimes without any further amendments are suitable for their purpose or if we need to make some adjustments to make them better. this technology, ”he said.

The former CFTC chairman warns that if regulators use regulations from the previous century that are not well designed for crypto and are unenforceable, they will stifle crypto innovations.

Giancarlo suggests that one of the first steps Congress should take is to form a new class of regulations for crypto called Non-Securities Crypto, which recognizes the new architecture. The settlement would cover commodity-based and security-based cryptos, as well as spot markets.

“We don’t have a regulatory mandate for what’s called SPOT, non-securities physical delivery exchanges, crypto, which is basically Bitcoin and Ethereum,” he said.

“So if Congress could fill this gap, then these two regulators could bring in long and well-developed standards on how the exchanges should treat client money, accounts receivable,” he added.

While Giancarlo is optimistic about the innovation that blockchain technology and the cryptocurrency space offers to the economy and the payment system, some current regulators are more skeptical. Just this week, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler said he didn’t see much long-term viability for cryptocurrencies.

And Acting Currency Comptroller Michael Hsu said in a speech Tuesday that crypto and decentralized finance (DeFi) are on a path that resembles credit derivatives leading to the 2008 financial crisis.

“I saw a fool’s gold rush up close before the 2008 financial crisis,” Hsu said. “It feels like we may be on the cusp of another with cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance.”

The OCC chief also questioned whether crypto would help attract more people to the U.S. banking system, and said just because something can be innovated doesn’t mean it should. He noted that closing the gaps could also lead to amplifying vulnerabilities within the financial system.

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For more information on cryptocurrency, see:

Dogecoin, what is it? How to buy it

Ethereum: What is it and how do you invest in it?

The 21 best crypto leaders to watch in the second half of 2021

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