Without Bitcoin, There Would be No Blockchain, CFTC Chairman Tells US Senate
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7 February

There would be no distributed ledger technology, if there was no Bitcoin, Christopher Giancarlo, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said at Tuesday’s Senate hearing on potential cryptocurrency regulations, Fortune reported.

Asked whether Bitcoin (Bitcoin) is a commodity, a security, or a hybrid,Giancarlo said it displayed features of multiple asset classes. But when viewed as a store of value like gold, bitcoin behaves “very much like a commodity,” he said.

“It’s important to remember that if there were no Bitcoin, there would be no distributed ledger technology,” said Giancarlo when asked about the value of Bitcoin’s underlying technology, blockchain.

“Sixty-six million tons of American soybeans were just handled through a blockchain transaction by the Dreyfus company to China. So Bitcoin is now being used, it’s being used in our American transportation and logistics system,” Giancarlo said, professing that his niece is a so-called cryptocurrency HODLer.

“I think this distributed ledger technology has enormous potential. Now how it will be realized, when it will be realized are challenges, and those we can’t say.”

“I hope people pursue it vigorously,” Clayton, who was nominated by President Donald Trump, added about blockchain.

Giancarlo testified at the US Senate along with Jay Clayton the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission said on Tuesday,

Clayton said the agencies were coordinating with the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve on the matter (regulation of cryptocurrencies), but added that lawmakers may have to clarify and enhance regulatory powers, Reuters reported.

"We may be back with our friends from Treasury and the Fed to ask for additional legislation," Clayton said when asked whether Congress needed to act on virtual currencies.

Both Clayton and Giancarlo used the hearing to showcase the efforts their agencies have made to police the market and to highlight limitations in the current U.S. regulatory structure, whereby virtual currencies fall into a gray area between the SEC, CFTC, Treasury, the Fed and state regulators.

Giancarlo and Clayton warned, however, that while they had limited authority to write virtual currency rules, they would use their enforcement powers aggressively to protect investors from fraudsters.

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