CFTC Commissioner Quintenz Speaks on Libra and Privacy in Crypto on WhatBitcoinDid Interview

  • CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz was interviewed by Peter McCormack.
  • McCormack spoke about privacy coins, Libra, and how regulators are handling these concerns.

No one would argue that privacy is a fundamental human right, and financial privacy is a significant part of that. This freedom has been substantially prominent in the word of lead Monero maintainer Riccardo Spagni, even though there are government agencies around the world that have found this privacy to be threatening, primarily due to the many cases against money laundering and terrorism financing.

As a result, cryptocurrencies that found themselves in anonymity have been a big issue for regulators. One of the most popular topics in cryptocurrency lately has been Libra, especially during a recent discussion with the host WhatBitcoinDid with the CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz.

Host Peter McCormack spoke about the decentralized nature of Bitcoin, which makes it difficult to control. However, since Libra is being portrayed as a crypto asset with dreams of being a “global currency,” McCormack pointed out that the same could not be done with Bitcoin, because it doesn’t actually have a single entity in charge of it.

Representative Maxine Waters of the Financial Services Committee has since called for a hearing on July 17th over Facebook’s decision to launch. Discussing the approach that regulators have to take in an instance with a decentralized cryptocurrency and a centralized cryptocurrency, Commissioner Quintenz commented,

“The fact of the matter is there’s a huge diversification of innovation in the space with pure decentralization at one end and then kind of a centralized token at the other.”

He continued, talking about the way that Libra could actually reach through the world, considering the global presence that Facebook already has. Still, this current situation is “a very charged political environment.”

Regardless, if there is any chance of an entity having a futures contract or derivatives contract with Libra, the primary attention would be on the underlying features. He explained,

“The press releases […] from both the House and the Senate […] what it speaks to is an increased appetite to form a regulatory regime around crypto product. And we’ll see if that evolves and if so how?”

Complying with the current regulations in place has to be a priority of Libra within the United States, especially in an environment where regulators are figuring out how to handle privacy coins and more. The idea, based on the whitepaper, is that Libra would comply with the current regulations, but would also seek to prevent the release of user’s private data.

Commissioner Quintenz spoke on the balance between freedom for consumers and freedom for the government to protect them. He said:

“How do you allow for freedom while allowing the government to try to do its job to protect to the population and I think that there has to be a balance there and […] I see the government trying to find that balance. I think things like zero-knowledge proof push that balance one way and there may have to be a recalibration of where that line is.”

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