Bart Chilton, Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Commissioner, appeared on CNBC's Squawk Box Tuesday to discuss
having his eye on the digital currency Bitcoin.
The peer-to-peer electronic cash system isn't currently
managed by a central authority, and because Bitcoin is accepted
by many people and merchants globally, a good portion of its
trade in commercial use is believed by many to be used for
illegal activities, such as the purchase of guns and drugs, human
trafficking and international gambling.
Additionally, Bitcoin is a roller coaster in terms of its
"It's huge. I don't have the exact numbers, but the volatility
in it is amazing, I mean, it's gone up to where one Bitcoin is
worth $266 bucks, it's gone back down to $50, it's about $110
right now," said Chilton.
Despite the risks of illegal activity, Chilton isn't 100
percent certain that the Bitcoin should be regulated. He said
that if anyone is going to regulate it, however, then the CFTC
should consider taking a shot at it.
"If it's a commodity that is used as a derivative. So if
somebody's buying it and holding it for the future, then it's
something that we at least could regulate, squarely," said
But how could the CFTC find the grounds for which to regulate
an internationally accepted currency in the United States?
"They're traded all over the world, and that's one difficulty,
I mean it's a cyber currency, so how do we get to it? And the
answer, if we wanted to, and the answer is that, if it's traded
in U.S. commerce, if it's traded on our computers, we could
potentially oversee it," said Chilton.
"Now again, we have to look at the facts and circumstances,
but people are actually loosing real money on this."
Chilton said that the CFTC might want to insert a credential
regulation if people aren't being backed up due to issues like
transactions not clearing or the lack of a margin requirement.
According to Chilton, regulating Bitcoin prevents it from being a
house of cards that can impact people.
Chilton emphasized the importance of not letting a shadow
currency that can potentially go towards illegal activities go
"My job's a regulator. I'm going to look after it," said
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