May 1, 2018 / 6:50 PM / in 6 months

Highlights: CFTC's Giancarlo at Milken calls bitcoin craze 'generational'

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif (Reuters) - The following are highlights from this week’s Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills:

J. Christopher Giancarlo Chairman, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, speaks at the Milken Institute 21st Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S. April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

CHRISTOPHER GIANCARLO, CHAIRMAN OF UNITED STATES COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION, ON BITCOIN:

“We need to take a moment and respect this generation’s interest in this new instrument (bitcoin). Not with derision, but with a little bit of attention and respect and respond with policy initiatives that really are thoughtful and forward looking.

“There is something going on here that is generational. Just as the baby boomer generation lost faith in the leaders that came before them and tried to seek a cultural change in those days through sex, drugs and rock and roll, I think there is a generation that also has lost faith in us that led them through the financial crisis and they see technology as a way of disintermediating institutions for which they don’t have a great deal of respect.

“We are struggling to find out how we apply an old law to really new and different applications.”

ON BEING ANOINTED ‘CRYPTO DAD’:

“Who would have thought a Senate testimony broadcast on C-SPAN would have led to 49,000 Twitter followers.”

MICHAEL PIWOWAR, COMMISSIONER AT THE U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, ON INITIAL COIN OFFERINGS:

“Is an ICO a security? And so far, as our chairman has said, everyone that he has looked at, everyone I have seen is a security.

“If (an ICO token) is a security, then it falls into three buckets. The first is the registered public offerings; this is the normal IPO, public offer. We’ve not had anybody register a public offering for an ICO. The next bucket is exempt offerings, so if you have an ICO, you have to fit into one of those types of exempted.

“And the third bucket is illegal. And if you are not falling into the first two buckets, we’ve said we’re coming after you. Bitcoin itself is not a security but these customized tokens for these initial coin offerings, most of them are. There is some legitimate stuff going that is on and then there is literally the fraud ones.”

JEB HENSARLING, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, TEXAS; CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON FINANCIAL SERVICES, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

“What worries me most broadly is that I really believe that due to the president’s leadership, the speaker’s leadership, we now have a 3 percent growth tax policy. I fear we do not have a 3 percent growth regulatory policy. And to achieve long-term 3 percent growth, we will need both.”

“Not only is it our birthright, our heritage, I believe it is part of our destiny. Bottom line is that we are not there.”

Reporting By Anna Irrera; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

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