Crypto Crackdown is the ‘Tip of the Iceberg’ as CFTC Seeks More Power – News Couple

Crypto Crackdown is the ‘Tip of the Iceberg’ as CFTC Seeks More Power

(Bloomberg) — The candidate to lead the largest US exchanges regulator has a warning to lawmakers: crypto misconduct the agency has already exposed is “the tip of the iceberg” and likely needs more authority to monitor the hot market.

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Rustin Behnam, who was chosen by the Biden administration to chair the CFTC, said the massive growth of digital tokens means that Congress may have to step in to ensure the regulator has the tools it needs to crack down. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has been scrutinizing the industry closely since the green bitcoin futures contract in 2017. But its powers are mostly limited to the supervision of derivatives.

Behnam, who has been the acting chair of the CFTC since January, said Wednesday during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee. Lawmakers should “consider expanding the authority of the CFTC.”

Behnam’s request comes at a time when regulators are jostling for jurisdiction. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler has drawn attention for his aggressive comments that many virtual currencies are securities that must be registered with his agency. The White House is also considering an executive order that could serve as a blueprint for regulating the market across government.

Read more: Tether’s latest black eye is good for lying about reserves

In his testimony, Behnam said that nearly 60% of the $2.7 trillion digital asset market is made up of commodities. He said his agency and the Securities and Exchange Commission would work together to regulate the market. Behnam said the Senate Agriculture Committee should consider expanding the CFTC’s jurisdiction further because of the industry’s size, its appeal to retail investors, and the threats it could pose to financial stability.

“It’s very important to have an essential conditional, and certainly the CFTC is prepared to do that,” he said.

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