U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission chair J. Christopher Giancarlo stated he believed the recent uptick in institutional investors could help cryptocurrencies “mature” in an interview with Fox Business on Friday morning.
Ivy League Investments
Recently, major institutions have become involved in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, despite unease caused by the market’s volatility. One of the most notable instances of this came earlier this month when Yale University fund manager David Swensen invested some of their 30BN endowment in blockchain fund Paradigm. The college also invested in VC firm Andreessen Horowitz’s $300M crypto fund.
As in past interviews, Giancarlo expressed an optimism for the cryptocurrency market tempered with pragmatism, saying there was still work to be done:
“We’ve still got a long way to go, there’s a lot of issues in some of these spot exchanges, a lack of transparency, a lot of conflict of interest, a lack of systems and systems safeguards, and that’s a concern. But you know, like all things, it takes time to mature, and with the movement of more institutional investors into the space, I think we’ll see that.”
Cracking Down on Fraud
In an early October interview with CNBC’s Fast Money and again during his recent interview with Fox, Giancarlo pointed out that the approach his organization takes in regard to cryptocurrency is “two-handed”. He went on to explain that on one hand, there is enforcement, and on the other is innovation and during the interview he said:
“Our job is to remove bad actors and those who would seek to manipulate markets.”
The comment was meant for the commodities market at large, but recent legal rulings have given the CFTC much more authority to go after bad actors in the crypto space. Giancarlo said on Fox that his agency has been monitoring crypto since 2015, and a recent court ruling brought it squarely under the CFTC’s jurisdiction and he said:
“There are a lot of scammers, a lot of fraudsters in this marketplace, and we’re covering the beat for them, and where we find them, we’re taking them out.”
He continued to say that the CFTC wants to take a “do no harm” approach to cryptocurrencies to allow people to innovate within the space. He noted that the CFTC recently introduced the first Bitcoin futures products at the end of 2017, which he asserted may have introduced more stability into the currency.
Cover Photo by Julien Lanoy on Unsplash