Testimony before the U.S. CFTC Global Markets Advisory Committee

Jerry Brito discusses cryptocurrencies and the technology's implication for derivatives in global markets. 

Written Testimony

Commissioner Wetjen and other members of the GMAC, my name is Jerry Brito and I am the Executive Director of Coin Center, a recently launched non­profit research and advocacy center focused on the public policy issues facing digital currencies. Thank you for inviting me to participate in this forum. I would like to provide some background on the technology we are discussing, explain some of the demand for derivative products, and answer any technical questions you might have.

Bitcoin is frequently described as a “digital currency.” While that description is accurate, it can be misleading because it is at once too broad and too narrow. It is too broad because Bitcoin is a very particular kind of digital currency—a cryptography based currency (indeed, it is the first of its kind). It is too narrow because although currency is one aspect of the Bitcoin system, Bitcoin is more broadly an Internet protocol with many applications beyond payments or money transfer. Think of it like email or the Web­­—an open network to which anyone can connect without permission from a central authority, anyone can send a message to anyone else, and on top of which you can freely build many different kinds of applications.

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Based in Washington, D.C., Coin Center is the leading non-profit research and advocacy center focused on the public policy issues facing cryptocurrency and decentralized computing technologies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Our mission is to build a better understanding of these technologies and to promote a regulatory climate that preserves the freedom to innovate using permisionless blockchain technologies.