As commodities regulators go, few have managed to attain the cult following that US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo has assembled in recent weeks.
However, the markets supervisor — nicknamed “cryptodad” by cryptocurrency enthusiasts — is finding that this newfound fame does not come without its drawbacks.
As CCN reported, Giancarlo earned the “cryptodad” nickname after he gave a surprisingly touching personal statement in a recent Senate hearing on cryptocurrencies, explaining how this technology has fascinated both his children and his niece and has sparked many fruitful dinner table conversations.
“It strikes me that we owe it to this new generation to respect their enthusiasm to respect their enthusiasm about virtual currencies with a thoughtful and balanced response, not a dismissive one,” he said.
Giancarlo, 58, immediately experienced a surge in Twitter followers, after which he issued a series of tweets thanking cryptocurrency users for the positive response and reminding them to conduct research before making any investments.
Is #crypto#FOMO your #FridayFeeling? #DYOR at https://t.co/JBWIJbZTo7#CryptoDad
— Chris Giancarlo (@giancarloCFTC) March 2, 2018
However, as Bloomberg reports, cryptodad’s newfound notoriety has also attracted its fair share of critics.
Critics allege that the mere fact that he is discussing the nascent asset class at all will legitimize it in the eyes of investors, leading them to invest in risky products they may not have otherwise.
Moreover, as has been the case with many prominent cryptocurrency figures, scammers have impersonated Giancarlo’s Twitter account to attempt to make it appear as though he is asking users to send him funds.
Finally, Giancarlo, a Republican, caused a bit of a kerfuffle when he tweeted out a picture of an inter-agency meeting that appeared to have been attended solely by other Republicans. Democrats, both in the CFTC and on Capitol Hill, immediately accused Giancarlo of violating federal open meeting laws.
Nevertheless, the commission has defended Giancarlo’s Twitter activity, arguing that it is a useful platform for directing investors toward the CFTC’s educational materials.
“The Chairman has tweeted a whopping total of 12 times since his testimony to the Senate Banking Committee that garnered such interest in the CFTC’s work on cryptocurrency,” said CFTC spokeswoman Erica Richardson. “Nine of these tweets have been about investor protection and the proactive regulatory work the agency is doing on FinTech and cryptocurrency.”
“[Giancarlo] views Twitter as a valuable platform to reach diverse audiences on customer education,” Richardson added. “He will continue to use Twitter to drive followers to the CFTC’s educational materials.”