Cryptocurrencies are here to stay, according to an official from the chief US commodities regulator.
Rostin Benham, a commissioner at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), spoke during the Blockchain for Impact Global Summit, held at the United Nations Plaza on Monday. During his speech, he emphasized the major potential for blockchain to address issues in healthcare, employment and crime, among other sectors.
Calling cryptocurrencies a "technological revolution," Behnam said:
"But virtual currencies may – will – become part of the economic practices of any country, anywhere. Let me repeat that: these currencies are not going away and they will proliferate to every economy and every part of the planet ... Virtual currencies could transform the economic and social landscape."
Benham also warned against the flip-side of cryptocurrencies if they are not properly overseen, saying, "if we are not thoughtful, if we do not remain ever diligent to the movements within the transformation, we may unleash corruption, criminality and division on a greater scale."
"Blockchain could become a source for repression and totalitarianism," he warned.
This is not the first time Benham has expressed caution about the potential use cases for blockchain. In an earlier address last month at the FIA Law and Compliance conference, he shared concerns over the possibility of cryptocurrencies threatening the stability of the financial industry.
Still, his sentiments over blockchain remain ever cognizant of the new technology's ability to remake "our economic, social, and political relations."
The BFI summit was aimed at uncovering the applications of blockchain technology to sustainable development and humanitarian challenges by engaging the United Nations (UN) departments, funds, programs and specialized agencies. It is part of a broader initiative by the Blockchain Commission for Sustainable Development that was established last year by the UN General Assembly.