- The acting chairman of the CFTC said the agency should be the primary regulator of crypto markets.
- “The CFTC has responsibly and aggressively been pursuing enforcement cases in the digital asset marketplace for a number of years now,” Behnam said.
- His statement contradicts the view of SEC Chief Gary Gensler who has said crypto assets are securities.
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The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said it should be the main agency to oversee cryptocurrencies, rather than the Securities and Exchange Commission.
That’s according to Rostin Behnam, acting chairman of the CFTC.
“The CFTC has responsibly and aggressively been pursuing enforcement cases in the digital asset marketplace for a number of years now,” Behnam said Wednesday, Coindesk reported. He also asked Congress to expand his agency’s remit.
“I think it’s important for this committee to reconsider and consider expanding authority for the CFTC,” he said, noting that of the more than $2 trillion crypto industry, nearly 60% were commodities.
“Given the size, the scope and the scale of this emerging market, how its interfacing and affecting customers, retail customers, and then with the scale of the growth being so rapid, potential financial stability risks in the future, I think it’s critically important to have a primary cop on the beat and certainly the CFTC is prepared to do that if this committee so wishes,” Behnam added.
Behnam, a Democratic commissioner at the CFTC since 2017, said regulating digital currencies would be a deviation from the agency’s usual mandate, but emphasized that the rapidly evolving space might be enough to warrant a change in the agency’s vision.
“We really also need to have a conversation about market regulation and sort of the exchange, the purchase and sale of these coins in a regulatory structure for both securities and commodities,” he said.
SEC Chair Gary Gensler has maintained that many crypto assets are considered securities, a definition that would place hundreds of coins within the $1.6 trillion cryptocurrency market under the agency’s jurisdiction.
Bitcoin, for instance, is regulated under the Commodity Exchange Act, and is considered a commodity. But there are thousands of other coins in the industry, with many meme tokens sprouting up almost every day, that sit in a regulatory gray area.
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