The top markets regulator in the United States has confirmed that he will retire following the expiration of his term in 2019, depriving the cryptocurrency industry of one of the Washington establishment's friendliest voices.
Speaking with financial publication IFLR at last week’s International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) annual general meeting, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo confirmed his intention to retire when his five-year term ends next April rather than seek reappointment.
Giancarlo has lately become a favorite among cryptocurrency enthusiasts due to his open-minded approach to the ecosystem, which stands in stark contrast to the hostile stances taken up by many regulators.
As CCN reported, Giancarlo received the nickname “Cryptodad” after a congressional hearing in which he relayed a heartfelt opening statement that explained how cryptocurrencies have made his children and niece interested in investing for the first time.
“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.
The Obama appointee -- who may be the first person to use the term “HODL” in a congressional hearing -- has also tweeted about cryptocurrency on multiple occasions, to the consternation of critics who argue that he should not take any actions that legitimize cryptocurrency as an asset class.
— Chris Giancarlo (@giancarloMKTS) March 2, 2018
Under Giancarlo’s tenure, the CFTC oversaw the creation of the country’s first two regulated Bitcoin futures products, which launched in December on Chicago-based exchanges CBOE and CME. Despite apocalyptic predictions from critics, these products have traded in an orderly fashion and have seen a steady uptick in trading volume since their listing.
The CFTC has also taken an active role in policing cryptocurrency-related fraud schemes, and the agency will likely shatter its record for market manipulation suits brought in a single fiscal year.
Giancarlo's term officially expires on April 13, 2019, but he said that he will continue to serve in his post until President Trump appoints a successor.
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