May 19, 2022

Chris is honored as a pioneering cryptocurrency lawyer and champion of French culture.

J. Christopher Giancarlo, senior counsel and Co-Chair of the Willkie Digital Works practice, has been awarded the rank of Chevalier in the French National Order of Merit by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Chris, the grandson of a French emigrant, was honored for his leadership in cryptocurrency and financial regulation as well as his support for French culture and language as a longtime trustee of the French American Academy.

Chris formerly served as the chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), where he oversaw regulation of the futures, options and swaps derivatives markets, and was instrumental in implementing a “Do No Harm” regulatory approach towards blockchain technology.

He is widely recognized as a leading authority on cryptocurrency and digital assets, financial markets and regulatory policy. Chris’ recent book, CryptoDad: the Fight for the Future of Money, details his experiences as CFTC chairman and discusses the rise of Bitcoin, crypto and central bank digital currency.

The Order of Merit was established by President Charles de Gaulle in 1963 for distinguished service to France and the causes it supports. It is rare for a non-citizen of France to receive the honor. Chris will receive the award at an event in June at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C.