The chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Chris Giancarlo, explains the difference between Bitcoin futures and Bitcoin ETF’s and why the former has been approved in the U.S, while the later still awaits approval.
In an interview with of CNBC’s Fast Money on Monday, he discussed why is there bitcoin futures trading on regulated exchanges in the U.S and not bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Giancarlo notes that while bitcoin is a commodity, bitcoin ETFs falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
CFTC and SEC
To start off he firstly states that SEC and CFTC are cooping up with the emerging innovations of today with the statutes that were written way before. He said:
“We are old agencies, our statutes are written in the 1930s.”
More broadly, the SEC, their oversight is over capital formation markets with a big retail focus. Ours, at the CFTC, our focus is on risk transfer markets and we are always focused on derivatives and a lot of that is institutional trading. So we are focused on institutional investments, they are focused on retail.
Giancarlo shared the regulatory focus of his agency:
“We are very focused on the fraud and manipulation aspects of cryptocurrency markets right now.”
He drew reference from the recent ruling in their favor in regards to My Big Coin, stating:
“Last week, we just won a big victory in the federal court in Boston, certifying our authority to prosecute fraud and manipulation in the crypto space. We have been very active at it.”
The chairman furthermore claims that CFTC is striking a balance between regulation and innovations. He explains:
It’s the United States that’s gone forward with the very first bitcoin derivatives, with bitcoin futures trading on the CME and also bitcoin options and bitcoin clearing – we are ahead of the world in that. There is no question that the United States is leading in a number of areas.
In saying so, he also points out that the US needs should “take a little bit more of a thoughtful and intelligent approach [to], just as the US Congress did 20 years ago in the early days of the internet.”
When questioned about his take on what the future entails for the cryptocurrency, he replied:
I personally think that cryptocurrencies are here to stay.
Read the full article on his hopes for cryptocurrency here: “Cryptocurrencies Are Here To Stay,” Says CFTC Chairman Christopher Giancarlo