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  • Writer's pictureP Xenos and M Bacina

Former Head of CFTC joins law firm to push for digital dollar

Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo has announced that has he will join law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher as a senior counsel.

Giancarlo is widely regarded as the “Crypto Dad” within large circles of the crypto space, primarily because of his public lobbying for a blockchain-based digital dollar.

He explained in an email announcing the decision that:

After five years in public service at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, I want to continue to help build the digital financial markets of the future. While assisting Willkie clients in their worldwide commercial ventures, I will further focus on key issues of public policy through writing and personal service on both public and private boards.

In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal published in October of this year, Giancarlo and Daniel Gorfine, former director of LabCFTC, the US watchdog’s focal point for the promotion responsible Fintech innovation, proposed a blockchain protocol to digitise cash in order to allow the dollar to compete “in the new digital era.”

Their USD-backed stablecoin proposal was envisioned to be used for daily transactions both within the US and internationally. It was to be created and administered by a privacy entity, as opposed to a central bank or other government entity, and primarily depend on participation from the Federal Reserve, commercial banks, non-bank intermediaries, technology companies and social-media platforms. As with seemingly all new blockchain announcements, Giancarlo and Gorfine guarantee faster transaction speeds, the possibility to make micro payments, as well as higher security and transparency enabled by cryptocurrencies.

In his email, Giancarlo said he plans to continue lobbying for the digital dollar’s evolution, together with the American substitution to the London Inter-bank Offered Rate (LIBOR). He wrote:

I expect soon to announce additional leadership roles in enterprises engaged in financial trading markets and digital commerce.

Since he left the CFTC, Giancarlo has joined the Chamber of Digital Commerce as an advisor. He also joined the board of the American Financial Exchange, which sponsors Ameribor, an alternative to LIBOR, and Ameribor Futures.

While he was working for the agency, Giancarlo advocated for a soft regulatory perspective on the cryptocurrency sector in testimony before Congress, earning himself major support from industry members in the process.


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