CFTC looking for leading role in regulating Digital assets
Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman Rostin Behnam is pushing members of
Congress to address and take a leading role in regulating digital assets.
On Wednesday at a hearing titled “Examining Digital Assets: Risks, Regulation, and Innovation,”, Behnam said to lawmakers with the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry that currently, the authority of CFTC doesn’t have a proper clear regulatory framework to address the fraud and manipulation of digital assets. According to the CFTC chair, the bulk of their actions over the last seven years was depended on tips that alerted them to crypto scams and other illicit activity. Since there were multiple government agencies regulating and enforcing crypto, most of the CFTC's actions were dependent on those tips. Behnam further says, his agency is capable enough to give consumers proper market protection and reduce risks in the digital asset space.
“There is no one regulator, either state or federal, with sufficient visibility into digital asset commodity trading activity to fully police conflicts of interest and deceptive trading practices impacting retail customers,” said Behnam in his written statement to the committee.
Behnam said this is an unregulated market. Although the visibility to the underlying market is not that high there is a number of exchange-traded derivatives on crypto assets on several registered CFTC exchanges.
Since January 2021 Behnam, was chair of the CFTC and last month he got confirmed by the Senate. Formerly, the government agency was likened to a beat cop on duty by Behnam while enforcing digital asset laws. As long as Behnam has served as chair, the CFTC has been involved in enforcement cases against crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX - a $100 million fine was levied on the firm - as well as Tether and Bitfinex, which were fined $42.5 million by the commission in October.
CBW - External Analyst