Gary Gensler, the former Chairman of the Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), now lectures about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology at MIT.
The ex-CFTC chair, who fulfilled the role between 2009 and 2014, is reportedly bullish on blockchain-based technology. Mr. Gensler also served as a partner at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and is known for having rather close ties with Bill and Hillary Clinton.
He is also known for his work on shedding regulatory light over the swaps market – something which was fairly unregulated prior to Gensler’s legislative framework.
Now, he is taking a rather careful and measured approach towards the innovative distributed ledger technology (DLT), and he even holds that it mimics the distributed nature of society itself. However, he also notes that he can’t consider a fast-growing financial technology phenomenon such as the blockchain without having a firm grasp on its associated risks, saying:
In the late ’90s, I was part of the broad consensus saying certain things, like derivatives markets, wouldn’t undermine financial stability. But guess what, it did. Eventually we addressed that as a nation and brought it into the public policy envelope.
An Active Approach
Apart from teaching on blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Mr. Gensler has also made himself widely available to regulators and policymakers, regardless of their political views.
In any case, Gensler’s fairly active stance on cryptocurrencies seems to match the one of the CFTC itself, which has also been rather busy.
In September 2017, the Commission filed charges against alleged Bitcoin Ponzi scheme operators. On the other hand, Christopher Giancarlo, the current chair of the CFTC, has also expressed his opinion on the matter of cryptocurrencies. In May, he noted:
Bitcoin and a lot of its other virtual currency counterparts really have elements of all of the different asset classes, whether they’re meeting payment, whether it’s a long-term asset.
Recognizing cryptocurrencies as a new asset class, the acting CFTC chair also shifted the responsibility of setting the regulatory framework to Congress, stating:
At the end of the day, it’s for Congress, and not regulators, to decide whether new policies should be evolved for these new asset classes.
What do you think of Mr. Gensler’s bullish stance on Bitcoin? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!
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