Longtime crypto advocate Brian Quintenz plans to step down from his role as commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Aug. 31, Quintenz announced in a press release Wednesday.
- Quintenz said that he expects to announce a role in the private sector after his departure from the CFTC. He told the Wall Street Journal that he plans to “keep innovation, particularly related to cryptocurrency and DeFi (decentralized finance), relevant to my career.”
- If Quintenz moves into the crypto industry, it would follow a trend of former regulators taking leadership roles at crypto companies.
- Quintenz, who was first nominated by then-President Obama and formally appointed in 2017 by then-President Trump, is one of only two Republicans on the five-seat CFTC. His absence will leave two empty seats on the commission; the other has been empty since the January departure of former Chairman Heath Tarbert.
- President Biden reportedly plans to nominate acting Chairman Rostin Behnam, a Democrat, to officially lead the CFTC.
- Quintenz’s term expired in April 2020, and he had previously committed to stepping down by last October, although he is legally allowed to remain on the commission through the end of this year. In the press release, however, he said that he opted to stay on given that there had been no replacement appointed, and to "ensure my voice was heard as important derivatives market and financial innovation issues were raised during the administration’s transition."
- As crypto regulation tightens, crypto-friendly regulators such as Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Hester Peirce and Quintenz have taken on an increasingly large burden of promoting crypto innovation and education at the government level.
- During his tenure as a CFTC commissioner, Quintenz revived the commission’s nearly dormant Technology Advisory Committee (TAC), which had met only two times in the past three years before Quintenz re-organized it.