BLP Spring Webinar Series on Reckoning with the Crypto Implosion: “Crypto: A New Architecture for Finance,” a presentation by the Honorable J. Christopher Giancarlo

Christopher Giancarlo
Christopher Giancarlo

On February 23, 2023, the Honorable J. Christopher Giancarlo, former Chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), current co-head of the Digital Works Practice at Wilkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and author of Crypto Dad: The Fight for the Future of Money, joined the Business Law Program (BLP) for a discussion on legal, policy, and regulatory issues raised by the recent “crypto winter” and the direction of digital asset activities and regulation. The conversation was moderated by Professor Gerard Comizio, Associate Director of the BLP.

Mr. Giancarlo’s presentation analyzed the current rise of the digital asset industry as part of a wave of technological innovation through an “internet of value” as compared to previous waves of internet innovation that centered on connecting information and things. He further noted that crypto can essentially be defined as various computer protocols using distributive ledger technology and cryptography to record ownership and transfer of value over the internet.

Mr. Giancarlo also described the evolution of the public sector response to the private sector innovations in the digital asset industry from “cautious indifference to regulatory accommodation” and “now regulatory hostility.” Regarding the “crypto winter-” a number of bankruptcies in the crypto trading exchange industry, he observed that the promise of internet-based value transfers had gotten ahead of the development of the underlying infrastructure and was suffering from “generational status quo bias and technological anxiety.”

Mr. Giancarlo predicted that while some in Washington and on Wall Street remain resistant to the disrupting changes presented by the digital asset industry, the forces of technological change persist and will create opportunities for American banks to be leaders in this new architecture. To view a recording of the discussion, click here.