President-Elect Joe Biden has announced the appointment of former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chair Gary Gensler to his transition team, in a move that could benefit the role of digital currency and blockchain sectors.
The former CFTC chief will join the transition team as a financial expert, with the remit to oversee transition with the Federal Reserve and several financial and banking regulators.
Gensler joins in the capacity of ‘Volunteer,’ which puts his involvement in a personal rather than professional capacity. As a result, his source of funding is listed as ‘Volunteer’ within the transition team lineup.
The appointment comes amid a raft of hires for the transition team, as the President-Elect continues to piece together his staff for handling the transition of power.
Gensler was appointed in the Obama era to oversee the CFTC, serving from 2009 to 2014. Renowned as a stringent regulator at the CFTC, Gensler was the driving force behind significant reforms in financial derivatives, a market worth $400 trillion.
Gensler has previously said digital currencies require a regulatory structure in order to reach their full potential, suggesting this would also benefit investors in the case of market manipulation, as well as solving problems like the loss of private keys.
He has also previously suggested initial coin offerings (ICOs) should be regulated as securities, which would bring them under the regulatory auspices of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), subject to the same rules as IPOs and other securities issuances.
Alongside his appointment to the transition team, Gensler currently serves in a senior advisory capacity to MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative, a project for researching blockchain and digital currency development.
The appointment will be welcomed by the digital currency sector, and suggests the new administration could be more open to a regulatory approach to blockchain and crypto businesses.