Christopher Giancarlo, former chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, has said the Trump administration was partly responsible for the collapse of the crypto market back in 2017. During a conversation with CoinDesk he said:
"One of the untold stories of the past few years is that the CFTC, the Treasury, the SEC and the [National Economic Council] director at the time, Gary Cohn, believed that the launch of bitcoin futures would have the impact of popping the bitcoin bubble. And it worked."
Chicago Mercantile Exchange's bitcoin futures were released on December 18, 2017, just one day after the bitcoin price reached an all-time high of $20,000 to plunge shortly afterwards. Giancarlo said:
"We saw a bubble building and we thought the best way to address it was to allow the market to interact with it."
He added that the launch of bitcoin futures on the regulated market allowed to open short positions:
"If you do believe it’s a ridiculous price but you don’t own, there’s no way to express that view. If you don’t have that derivative, then all you’ve got are believers [and] it’s a believers’ market."
Giancarlo also said that the 2017 bitcoin bubble must be considered in the context of the 2008 financial crisis:
"Coming out of the 2008 financial crisis, the legit criticism of regulators was along the lines of: Where were they during the expansion of the real estate mortgage bubble, and why didn’t they take steps to pop that bubble when they could have?"
Giancarlo believes it was actually those history lessons which made regulators react so quickly, and believes all measures related to bitcoin "show the power of markets to bring discipline to prices."
Christopher Giancarlo resigned as president of the CFTC in April 2019. Earlier this week, the current head of the agency, Heath Tarbert, said regulated ethereum futures might appear on the market in a period of 6-12 months.
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