A commissioner for the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said earlier this week that, if broadly adopted by the world’s financial institutions, the blockchain could cost recordkeeping professionals their jobs.

On 1st December, Commissioner J Christopher Giancarlo discussed bitcoin and the blockchain during a wide-ranging guest lecture hosted by the Harvard School of Law that focused, in part, on new financial technologies.

Giancarlo said that the open ledger underlying bitcoin has “the potential to revolutionize modern financial ecosystems”, pointing to examples like the recent blockchain working group established by the London Stock Exchange, the CME Group and several European banks and trade settlement organizations.

Should such a revolution happen, he noted, the impact on those working in the financial sector today could be significant:

“This transformation will not come without consequences, however, including a greatly disruptive impact on the human capital that supports the recordkeeping of contemporary financial markets. On the other hand, the blockchain will help reduce some of the enormous cost of the increased financial system infrastructure required by new laws and regulations, including Dodd-Frank.”

The CFTC revealed its intent to regulate bitcoin as a commodity in September, when it ordered an unregistered bitcoin options platform, Coinflip, to close.

The agency later settled with TeraExchange over violations of the Commodity Exchange Act, the regulation from which the CFTC derives its jurisdiction.

Job postings image via Shutterstock

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