As Rostin Behnam, Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, wrapped up his speech at the BFI Summit in New York this past Monday, he made it clear that he believed cryptocurrencies were here to stay.
Behnam, who previously served as senior counsel to US Senator, Debbie Stabenow, referred to cryptocurrency as a “technical revolution” and possibly “a modern miracle” during his talk at the United Nations Plaza.
As cryptocurrency faces legal issues in some countries, we see influential financial experts such as the ex-Economic Affairs Secretary in India proposing an outright ban. Behnam, however, takes a more realistic approach, recognizing not only that “these currencies are not going away, and they will proliferate to every economy and every part of the planet,” but that “virtual currencies could transform the economic and social landscape.”
It would be easy to paint Behnam as an overly optimistic cheerleader for blockchain technology off the back of his comments, but that certainly isn’t the case, as he has also expressed caution and concern over the effects that cryptocurrencies could have on economic and societal matters.
What Behnam represents is a growing realization among regulators and financial chiefs that not only is cryptocurrency here to stay, but that blockchain technology could provide solutions to many developmental and humanitarian challenges, such as corruption, poverty, agriculture, and healthcare.
In his closing comments, Behnam said:
“Blockchain is more than technology: it is an advance that reaches out into every aspect of life. We could use Blockchain to address the most basic, the most primal problems on our planet: corruption, income distribution, poverty, food, and healthcare. And, the fear billions of people experience every day as they try to survive.
As a young child, I would come to this building in search of solutions to the problems of the world. Now, today, we may have found one of those solutions – bigger, bolder, more comprehensive, and more effective than anything imagined before.”
The BFI summit is part of a broader initiative by the Blockchain Commission for Sustainable Development, which was established by the UN General Assembly in 2017.