CFTC Asks For Legal Framework to Develop Blockchain
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Wednesday’s U.S. Congressional hearing involving the Chairman of U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has yielded interesting results for the blockchain community as Christopher Giancarlo said his agency is interested in the technology. The Chairman also stressed that CFTC needs to examine blockchain as a technology in order to evaluate its potential uses.

Meeting titled “Examining the Upcoming Agenda for the CFTC” was convened by House Committee on Agriculture. During the hearing regarding the Lab CFTC initiative that aims to bring cooperation with fintech sphere and community, was spoken of. The Chairman talked of its importance to the agency: “LabCFTC is our front door into these new regulatory fintech developments in the marketplace”. He also noted that the agency is “four years behind” other countries such as UK when it comes to blockchain, and making use of it.

Giancarlo was also asked about direct collaboration with the private sector to which he replied that first, a legal process needs to be set up since as of now the agency, for example, cannot become involved in any trailing of blockchain’s proof-of-concept. Commissioner also added that since paying companies for cooperation is also unfeasible, CFTC R&D Modernization Act should need to be passed that would allow the agency to become involved with firms in the fintech industry and their projects without violating laws.

According to Giancarlo, the legislation “would greatly enhance the Commission’s ability to keep pace with emerging technology, explore its potential, and facilitate its adoption”.

This hearing was the second of the sort for a year for CFTC. In February, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alongside CFTC participated in a joint hearing regarding cryptocurrencies where Giancarlo shared his positive vision towards blockchain saying that countless industries could benefit from the technology.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

1. CFTC is tasked with collaborating and acting as a regulator for fintech firms using blockchains. However, the agency says it’s unable to act in that capacity.

2. The Chairman of CFTC believes U.S. is four years behind UK and its recent introduction of a blockchain compliant bank-to-bank payment system.

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