Brian Quintenz, a proponent of cryptocurrency, will resign as CFTC Commissioner

Brian Quintenz, a long-time crypto champion, said on Wednesday that he will stand down as commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on August 31.

• Quintenz stated that after leaving the CFTC, he plans to announce a job in the private sector. He aims to "keep innovation, particularly connected to bitcoin and DeFi (decentralized finance), relevant to my profession," according to the Wall Street Journal.

• Quintenz's entry into the crypto industry would be in line with a recent trend of former regulators becoming CEOs of crypto companies.

• Quintenz is one of only two Republicans on the five-member CFTC, having been nominated by then-President Obama and then appointed by then-President Trump in 2017. His absence will leave two vacancies on the commission, one of which has been vacant since former Chairman Heath Tarbert stepped down in January.

• Acting Chairman Rostin Behnam, a Democrat, is expected to be nominated by President Biden to lead the CFTC.

• Quintenz's tenure ended in April 2020, and he had previously stated that he would stand down by last October, despite the fact that he is legally authorized to stay on the commission until the end of this year. However, he stated in the news release that he chose to stay on because no replacement had been named and to “ensure my voice was heard as significant derivatives market and financial innovation issues were discussed throughout the administration's transition.”

• Crypto-friendly authorities like Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Hester Peirce and Quintenz have taken on a growing burden of supporting crypto innovation and education at the federal level as crypto regulation tightens.

• Quintenz re-organized the CFTC's practically inactive Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) during his stint as a commissioner. The TAC had convened only twice in the previous three years before Quintenz re-organized it.

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