CFTC Chair Dispels Narrative That The Regulator Would Be Friendly

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The lack of regulatory clarity for crypto markets in the US has been a cause for concern for crypto industry participants, regulators, and lawmakers. While industry players have recently pushed for the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to have more oversight of the market, CFTC chair Rostin Behnam has disclosed the commission is not going to be more friendly than other regulators.

The CFTC Will Not Be Friendlier Than Other Regulators And Has A Track Record To Prove It

In an interview with Bloomberg News on Monday, CFTC chair Rostin Behnam said that the narrative that the CFTC was going to be friendlier than other regulators with the nascent market was false. The statement from the CFTC chair comes as we see a rising push from both crypto firms and crypto-friendly lawmakers for the CFTC to have more oversight of the crypto spot markets. Behnam said:

“That is completely false, and that’s a bad narrative,” adding, “I’m as tough as anyone in this city, and our jurisdiction and our authority is as tough as anyone’s as well.”

Notably, the regulator has gone after at least 30 different crypto firms in the last seven years, imposing fines totaling over $787 million. Behnam, during the interview, also disclosed that regulators were looking to collaborate to police the market while lawmakers worked on laws that would bring regulatory clarity. The CFTC chair said, “In the absence of clear direction from Congress, which I know they’re working on, it’s our responsibility to work together and to come up with solutions to the extent that we’re able to within the authority that we currently have.”

It’s not the first time that regulators in the US have expressed a desire to share the responsibility of policing the market. In April, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Gary Gensler speaking at an event, disclosed that the SEC was looking to share the oversight of the crypto market with the CFTC.

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Behnam on Monday revealed that while both regulators are yet to reach an agreement on the roles they should play in the policing of the nascent market, both parties are currently in talks to resolve it. Notably, Gensler has said that most digital assets should fall under the SEC’s purview, while in contrast, Behnam has said the CFTC is best suited to regulate a larger portion of the developing market.

The State Of Regulations

Since Biden’s executive order on cryptocurrencies and the crisis in Eastern Europe, crypto regulations have risen in priority for lawmakers. Presently, lawmakers are split on the approach to take, with the likes of Elizabeth Warren raising concerns around the level of anonymity in the crypto space and the environmental impacts. While in contrast, others seem keen to encourage the growth of the industry.

Though Behnam has said the CFTC is not going to be overly friendly to the crypto industry, the willingness of the regulator to communicate with players in the nascent market to many seems preferable to the unresponsiveness of the SEC. Notably, the SEC has recently revealed it would be expanding its crypto enforcement unit.