Former CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo Discusses Accomplishments, Relationships With Other Regulators and the CFTC’s Approach to Rulemaking (Part One of Two)

J. Christopher Giancarlo was sworn in as a CFTC Commissioner on June 16, 2014, and later served as Chair until the end of his five-year term in July 2019. As Chair, he oversaw regulation of the futures, options and swaps derivatives markets, focusing on regulatory guidance for emerging technologies, such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies. For example, Giancarlo oversaw the first bitcoin futures products entering the marketplace and applied a “do-no-harm” regulatory approach toward blockchain technology. As of January 13, 2020, Giancarlo joined Willkie Farr & Gallagher as senior counsel in New York, and the Hedge Fund Law Report recently spoke to him in connection with that new position. In this first article in our two‑part series, Giancarlo discusses his post‑CFTC plans; his accomplishments at the CFTC; the relationship between the CFTC and the SEC; harmonization with the SEC and foreign regulators; and the CFTC’s approach to rulemaking. The second article will cover Giancarlo’s views on technology, including cryptocurrency and blockchain; the launch of LabCFTC and Project KISS; and the release of the CFTC’s enforcement manual. For coverage of Giancarlo while he was at the CFTC, see “CFTC Chair Calls for Reset on Cross-Border Swaps Regulation” (Nov. 29, 2018); “Virtual Currencies Present Significant Risk and Opportunity, Demanding Focus From Regulators” (Feb. 8, 2018); and “Enforcement Priorities and Approaches to FinTech, Cybersecurity and Swaps Reform” (Nov. 9, 2017).

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