Former CFTC Chair: Stay “Technology Neutral” but Crypto’s May Need More Regulation than Oil

Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Gary Gensler, spoke with Bloomberg recently about blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, and what should be regulated. Gensler chaired the organization from 2009 to 2014.

Gensler has moved from the CFTC to a lecturer of blockchain at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During the interview, the former chair was asked about the future of blockchain technology, with Gensler stating, it “has a real chance to be a catalyst for change in the world of finance.”

Concerning cryptocurrencies, Gensler stated that if the digital assets find public adoption, then it must “come inside of the public policy envelope.” He had compared Bitcoin to Visa in terms of transaction volume, stating Visa moving 25,000 transactions per second versus Bitcoins seven to ten transactions per second. He believes that digital assets are still in their infancy and will need another three to ten years before being able to be scaled.

One of the main concerns repeatedly address was consumer and investor protection. As currently the industry is rife with hacks, scams, and con artist, he believes that there should be government regulation, but holds the position of being “regulator neutral” when asked who should oversee the sector, the SEC or the CFTC.

He commented:

“Pure cash cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, need more protection than frankly, even the oil markets, or corn and wheat.”