“Do no harm” to cryptocurrency says U.S. regulator

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Speaking at the annual Singapore Summit, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo said that the Internet flourished because the government did not step in too heavily, and applied a “do no harm” approach and that the same approach should be used with cryptocurrency.

Giancarlo emphasised that innovation must be allowed to flourish in the cryptocurrency and the digital revolution. However, he also said, “caution is required because some kinds of fraud and manipulation often seen in foreign exchange and precious metals are now taking place in cryptocurrency markets.” He said that regulators need to be strong in relation to this aspect of activity, but, “When it comes to policy making, I think we need to be slow and deliberate and well informed.”

The CFTC, which has the job of regulating commodity, futures and derivatives markets has claimed since 2015 that cryptocurrencies are commodities, and a federal judge ruled that they are commodities in 2018, as reported by CNBC.

Giancarlo also gave a robust response to those who suggested that the Securities and Exchange Commission, alongside other related authorities, are being too slow in establishing cryptocurrency regulations. He refuted this, saying that the USA now allows bitcoin futures. He said: “Some would say we’re too slow, others have said we’ve been too fast. So, we at the CFTC, saw the very first regulated offerings of bitcoin futures. But, no other regime in the world has allowed this to go forward.”

Although Giancarlo has previously said that he’s not a cryptocurrency evangelist, but in past public speeches he has been clearly sympathetic, most notably saying: “We owe it to this new generation to respect their enthusiasm about virtual currencies with a thoughtful and balanced response, not a dismissive one.”

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