CFTC’s Giancarlo tells innovators to “keep going” at DC blockchain conference

Excerpts from remarks by US Commodity Futures Trading Commission chair Christopher Giancarlo at the 4th Annual DC Blockchain Summit.

As you may know, the potential of the blockchain and its impact on financial markets has been a key focus of ours. I first addressed it three years ago when I called for a “Do No Harm” Regulatory Approach to Distributed Ledger Technology. Since then, the CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee, sponsored by commissioner Brian Quintenz, established a Subcommittee on Distributed Ledger Technology and Virtual Currencies that we will hear from in a few weeks. Meanwhile, our own Lab CFTC has produced a “Primer on Smart Contracts” that addresses Blockchain and has received a great response.

What makes this era of financial technology innovation so fascinating is the realization that the development of new technologies and business models is intertwined with the existence of older regulatory frameworks and the development of new policy approaches needed to keep pace.

The CFTC approach to fintech innovation and modern market regulation, the digital trinity, if you will — technology, markets, and policy — is adopting an exponential growth mindset, creating an internal fintech stakeholder, becoming a quantitative regulator, and embracing market-based solutions.

So, what should your approach be as innovators? My advice to you is this: Keep going! Solve problems. Innovate boldly, innovate with integrity and innovate intelligently. Get competent advice. Follow the law. Keep going. Do not be afraid.

Recognize that while our regulations were designed for environments that have been transformed, the principles underlying our regulations remain relevant – and remain enforceable. So work with us. Talk to us. Interact with LabCFTC and work with our regulatory divisions.

Read the full remarks

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