Blockchain has a�?the potential to enhance economic efficiency, mitigate centralized systemic risk, defend against fraudulent activity and improve data quality and governance.a�? (Source: a�?Therea��d Be No DLT Without Bitcoin, Says CFTC Chief,a�? CoinDesk, February 6, 2018.)
This little quote sent Ethereum prices soaring on Monday.
Oddly, it came from CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, who made the comments while addressing the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
Giancarlo and his counterpart at the SEC, John Clayton, struck a fair and balanced tone on cryptocurrencies. After rattling sabers against fraudsters and crypto con men, they essentially took the position of a�?do no harma�? to legitimate cryptos.
This was just the silver lining ETH investors were waiting for.
By this morning, the Ethereum to USD exchange rate rose 25.6% to reach a level of $841.21. It is still far below its all-time highs, but the upward momentum comes as a relief after weeks of falling prices.
Ethereum Price Chart
In order to understand whata��s going on, you have to remember the context of Januarya��s epic crypto crash. Ostensibly, investors turned on cryptos after South Korea banned anonymous trading.
But it wasna��t the ban itself that spooked investors, it was the haphazard rollout of the ban.
Koreaa��s Justice Minister had originally guaranteed a sweeping embargo on all crypto activities. He was (almost) immediately contradicted by the President and Finance Minister. Soon after, there were protests in the streets and petitions making the rounds.
It took several days to parse fact from fiction. When the dust settled, we were left with a simple ban on anonymous trading, but that didna��t matter. The damage was donea��the confusion had fostered an air of uncertainty.
Investors became acutely aware of the political risk posed to cryptocurrencies. They grew terrified of regulators with the power to crush digital assets at will, making the future value of these assets completely subjective. That realization led to a massive sell-off.
However, Clayton and Giancarloa��s testimony is clearing the air. They spoke eloquently about cryptocurrencies, displaying an uncommon familiarity with the emerging asset class. There were no scare tactics, no a�?FUD,a�? no condescension.