Chris Giancarlo, who served as chair for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission until 2019, will be joining the board of directors for blockchain startup Digital Asset.
In a Tuesday announcement, Digital Asset said Giancarlo would be providing counsel on asset tokenization, distributed ledger technology, and the possible impact of regulatory developments on the crypto space. The former CFTC chair is currently working as senior counsel at the Willkie Farr & Gallagher law firm and co-founded the Digital Dollar Project, a non-profit organization aimed at generating data to inform U.S. lawmakers on developing a central bank digital currency, or CBDC.
“We are on the precipice of a digital economic transformation that will necessitate safe and secure ways for businesses to interconnect and share assets,” said Giancarlo.
During his time as CFTC chair, Giancarlo also served as a member of the U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Committee, the President's Working Group on Financial Markets and the executive board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions. Many in crypto and blockchain referred to him as “Crypto Dad” for supporting digital assets during his five years at the CFTC, including overseeing the launch of regulated Bitcoin (BTC) futures and advocating for a “do no harm” approach to blockchain regulation.
Giancarlo was replaced as chair by Heath Tarbert in July 2019, for whom current CFTC commissioner Rostin Behnam took over in 2021 as acting chair before being confirmed by the Senate in December. Though no longer serving in an official capacity for any U.S. government agency, the Crypto Dad was on the board of directors at BlockFi for four months in 2021, and recently joined blockchain investment firm CoinFund as a strategic advisor.
Digital Asset has raised more than $300 million through funding rounds since its founding in 2014, most recently raising $120 million in a Series D financing round in April 2021. The firm has acquired firms in the crypto and blockchain space including Hyperledger, Bits of Proof, Blockstack and Elevence.