“Crypto Dad” J. Christopher Giancarlo, the former Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), just called for the powers-that-be in America to transition the U.S. dollar onto blockchain technology.
In a new op-ed penned this week, Giancarlo and his former colleage Daniel Gorfine, previously a director with the LabCFTC initiative, made a case to the masses that the dollar’s global dominance is being threatened and that shifting USD onto blockchain could help the currency entrench its reigning position.
The Federal Reserve, America’s central banking system, would still remain a key player around a new digital dollar, the authors argued:
“We propose a digital dollar—a government-sanctioned blockchain protocol, created and maintained by an independent nongovernmental group but administered by banks and other trusted payment organizations. Cash brought into the system would be exchanged for digital U.S. dollars on a blockchain, with the cash lodged in special escrow accounts maintained by the Federal Reserve.”
Specifically, the former U.S. officials said pivoting the dollar to blockchain tech would ensure that the “greenback” isn’t beaten to the digital punch by nimbler superpowers who are striving to do the same. For example, China’s own digital yuan plans have been accelerating as of late.
To that end, Giancarlo and Gorfine argued:
“Most important, compared with a private or foreign digital currency, this system would extend the central role of the U.S. dollar in global finance and allow it to compete confidently in the new digital era. The first major digital-currency initiative to draw American users would be fully and unequivocally backed by the greenback.”
It’s not the only high-profile USD tokenization chatter that’s been in the news lately, either. Earlier this month, two U.S. legislators wrote to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to ask a series of questions related to if the Fed had any plans to shift the dollar into a cryptocurrency.
Giancarlo Isn’t Going Anywhere
Giancarlo has become a darling in America’s nook of the cryptoeconomy, known for overseeing the CFTC when the agency greenlighted the world’s first fully regulated bitcoin futures products in December 2017. The ex-CFTC Chairman earned the “Crypto Dad” the following February when he revealed during a U.S. Senate hearing how his kids had grown fond of bitcoin.
And while Giancarlo left his position as CFTC Chairman in April 2019 when his term ran out, don’t expect the former public official to drop out of the eye of the blockchain and cryptocurrency space altogether.
That’s because last month Giancarlo joined the advisory board of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, an advocacy group that is focused on the benefits and possibilities surrounding blockchain tech.
“It is my hope that together we can streamline and modernize the regulatory environment and encourage further blockchain innovation,” Giancarlo said at the time.
Notably, the leadership at the Chamber of Digital Commerce share’s Giancarlo’s concerns that America is beginning to lag behind other countries when it comes to fostering blockchain innovation. Earlier this year, the advocacy group called for the U.S. government to create a national strategy for promoting blockchain in America.
“We can either step forward as visionary leaders or risk falling behind,” the chamber’s president and founder Perianne Boring said back in February.
New CFTC Head: Ether (ETH) Is a Commodity, Not a Security
Heath Tarbert, who took over as CFTC Chairman upon Giancarlo’s departure, made waves last week in publicly declaring that the Commission’s leadership viewed the Ethereum blockchain’s native currency as a commodity. He said:
“We’ve been very clear on bitcoin: bitcoin is a commodity. We haven’t said anything about ether — until now. It is my view as chairman of the CFTC that ether is a commodity.”
With those remarks, the question as to whether ether is security in the U.S. seems to be finally settled.