CFTC Commissioner: Blockchain Will Bring 'Sea Change' to Financial Markets

The CFTC has named one of its leaders as the new sponsor for its technical advisory committee – and he wants to see it work on blockchain issues.

AccessTimeIconSep 20, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:57 a.m. UTC

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has named one of its leaders as the new sponsor for its technical advisory committee – and he wants to see it work on issues around blockchain.

Commissioner Brian Quintenz, the agency announced yesterday, will act as the sponsor for the body, which provides input on various regulatory matters. According to the CFTC, the committee hasn't met since February 2016 – during which time members discussed the impact of blockchain – and Quintenz said he hopes to change this state of affairs.

In both an initial statement and in follow-up remarks, as reported by news service GlobalCapital, Quintenz pointed to distributed ledger tech (DLT) as a key area on the CFTC's radar.

He said in a statement:

"Crucial and fascinating questions need to be explored and answered in areas like automated trading, distributed ledger technology, data harmonization, and cybersecurity, and I hope that the [committee] will provide leadership on these matters."

Blockchain, he said during an event on Monday, "is on the verge of creating a sea change in contract design, reporting and settlement," according to GlobalCapital.

Among the CFTC's leadership, Quintenz is far from alone in his blockchain bullishness.

J Christopher Giancarlo, who currently serves as chairman of the CFTC, has said that he believes the US government needs to rethink its approach to blockchain.

"For regulators, DLT may help transcend the fragmented regulatory structure by providing reference to a single, verified record of all financial transactions across regulated markets," he wrote in a CoinDesk op-ed last December. "In order for this technology to flourish, however, regulators must come together and set uniform principles to encourage DLT investment and innovation."

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