Rostin Benham, a commissioner at the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), stated that “cryptocurrencies will proliferate to every economy and every part of the planet”, calling crypto a “modern miracle”.

He believed blockchain had the potential to address the world’s most pressing problems like poverty, corruption, food, and healthcare. He made these comments regarding cryptocurrency during a speech at the Blockchain for Impact Global Summit at the United Nations Plaza in New York City on 4 June 2018.

CFTC declared Bitcoin a commodity in 2015 and since then has been playing an active role in regulating cryptocurrency markets. Benham said that CFTC had been outspoken and upfront about cryptocurrency over the past few years, having engaged in notable enforcement actions to increase transparency and reduce fraud in cryptocurrency markets. Additionally, it had been educating citizens to help prevent them from becoming victims of cryptocurrency scams.

Benham discussed how the unbanked could now have cryptocurrency accounts, possibly helping them get out of poverty by restoring their financial freedom. He believed that some small economies could become dependent on cryptocurrency for survival, much like the village of Kolionov in Russia.

Benham further said that the healthcare sector could see some major improvements with the aid of blockchain technology, helping patients organize and keep control of their medical records as opposed to the fragmented record keeping that is the standard today. It could also help reduce medical waste and fraud, lowering health care costs.

CFTC is an agency which was created in 1974 to regulate the futures, options, and commodities markets. Its mission is to foster safe, competitive, transparent, and trustworthy market conditions by avoiding systemic risk and preventing fraud. CFTC is the chief regulator for trillions of dollars of assets in the United States.

While Benham embraced the technology, he also warned that CFTC must remain diligent so that blockchain and cryptocurrency are not exploited for criminal purposes.


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