By CCN.com: Bart Chilton is dead at a mere 58 years old. He served in the CFTC between 2007 and 2014, initially selected by George W. Bush but reconfirmed throughout the Obama years. Bitcoin had barely entered the collective consciousness in a big way when he left his post, but he held strong opinions on the subject.
Chilton said in his later years that he wished had invested in Bitcoin sooner. In 2017, he backed an ICO that pegged its tokens to the value of oil.
Recently, he wrote:
The crypto anarchist will say the existing systems are on their way out. They will perish. My view, that’s nutty talk. I’m in the camp of working within existing systems to make meaningful progress. The old adage, if you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem, comes to mind.
Chilton was known for his criticism of high-frequency trading bots, which he believed created a dangerous marketplace for all. Immediately after leaving the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, Chilton joined the Modern Markets Initiative, a high-frequency trading association.
Like Bitcoin, his problem was less with the act of high-frequency trading itself than with the under-regulated nature of the trades made. He felt that he could bring a positive influence to the industry, and said of his decision:
“People are going to say, ‘wait a minute, you used to beat the [stuff] out of those guys,’ and I did, but I never said they should go away.”
He felt that companies who had joined the Modern Markets Initiative were well-intentioned, and plied his influence to help them operate in ways he believed would lead to a healthier economy.
The move was not unlike his backing of OilCoin, which was set to launch in January 2018 but never did. The token would work as a digital future for oil – its value is attached directly to the price of a barrel of oil, and real reserves are supposed to be maintained to back trading.
Previously, Chilton had continually called for greater regulation of cryptocurrencies. He believed that law would stimulate a safe and significant boom in cryptocurrencies. His view is shared by many in the cryptocurrency industry, who have long felt that lack of regulation leads to long-term existential problems as well as risks to consumers.
The continued prevalence of unregulated markets and gray markets is a principal reason the SEC has yet to approve a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund. Regulators want to be sure that volume metrics are reliable, but this is difficult to do when up to 95% of all Bitcoin volume is fake.
At the same time, continued security risks in crypto exchanges have led to the loss of billions of dollars per year. Well-crafted and well-executed regulation can mitigate this, as evidenced by Japanese regulators recently dropping in on two exchanges to examine their security policies. If regulators have the technical competence to ensure that exchanges handle custody properly, the ability to steal from exchanges may be limited in the long run.
All of which were the tenets of Bart Chilton’s views on the need for regulation. He kept a close eye on the market place and continued to write on the subject until his last days. Just last month he published a piece about “Blockchain Dreamers.”
Last modified: May 20, 2020 7:08 AM UTC