Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo is joining the Willkie Farr & Gallagher law firm as senior counsel, he announced Monday.
Giancarlo, known to most of the cryptocurrency world as "Crypto Dad," will work on public policy positions, including advocating for the creation of a blockchain-based digital dollar, in addition to his work with the law firm's clients.
"After five years in public service at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, I want to continue to help build the digital financial markets of the future," Giancarlo said in an email. "While assisting Willkie clients in their worldwide commercial ventures, I will further focus on key issues of public policy through writing and personal service on both public and private boards."
Giancarlo recently called for the creation of the digital dollar with former LabCFTC head Daniel Gorfine, warning that not doing so while other central banks experiment with blockchain technology and digital currencies could result in the greenback being replaced as a global standard.
In his email Monday, Giancarlo said he plans to continue advocating for the digital dollar's development, as well as for an American replacement to the London Inter-bank Offered Rate (LIBOR).
"I expect soon to announce additional leadership roles in enterprises engaged in financial trading markets and digital commerce," he said.
Since leaving the CFTC, Giancarlo has joined the Chamber of Digital Commerce as an advisor and the board of the American Financial Exchange, which sponsors Ameribor, a LIBOR alternative, and Ameribor Futures.
During his time with the agency, Giancarlo called for a light-touch regulatory approach to the cryptocurrency space while testifying before Congress, earning praise from industry participants.
Under his tenure, the first bitcoin futures and options products in the U.S. were approved from companies such as CME, Cboe and LedgerX. Other firms have since announced their intentions to launch similar products, with the the New York Stock Exchange's sister firm Bakkt launching its own physically-settled bitcoin futures in September 2019.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.