Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chair Christopher Giancarlo, also known as “Crypto Dad,” is leaving the board of crypto lending firm BlockFi but will continue to advise the group on digital assets.
In a Wednesday announcement, BlockFi said Ellen-Blair Chube — a managing director and client service officer at investment banking firm William Blair & Company — would be replacing Giancarlo. BlockFi founder and CEO Zac Prince cited Chube’s “strong financial services experience married with her deep knowledge of the public sector” in bringing her on as a board member. Prince added that Giancarlo would contribute in an informal capacity as an advisor.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to advise this impressive group of leaders as they work to bridge the worlds of traditional finance and blockchain technology,” said Giancarlo. “I know that as crypto assets take a more prominent role in both retail and institutional investors’ strategies, BlockFi will be there to lead the way.”
It’s unclear why Crypto Dad is leaving the firm’s board after being in the position for only four months. When he joined BlockFi in April, he hinted at helping the firm bridge the gap between digital assets and traditional finance.
Giancarlo previously worked as the chair of the CFTC for five years before leaving in April 2019. Many in the space regard him as an ally to the crypto and blockchain industry, given he oversaw the launch of regulated Bitcoin (BTC) futures during his time as CFTC chair and had a “do no harm” approach to blockchain regulation, earning him the Crypto Dad nickname.
Though no longer serving in an official capacity for any U.S. government agency, Giancarlo occasionally makes public statements on crypto and blockchain regulation. He has claimed the CFTC should have priority in regulating cryptocurrencies, as opposed to the Securities and Exchange Commission, and argued that the XRP token does not fulfill the criteria to be considered a security.
The change in leadership at BlockFi comes amid multiple states — including New Jersey, Texas and Alabama — alleging that the company is illegally funding its crypto lending operations and proprietary trading through the sale of unregistered securities. The company has claimed its BlockFI Interest Account is not a security.
Cointelegraph reached out to Giancarlo for comment, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.