CFTC Chairman Rustin Behnam is seeking members of Congress to address the commission’s lack of enforcement powers in the digital asset space.
At Wednesday’s hearing “Investigating Digital Assets: Risk, Regulation, and Innovation,” Behnam told lawmakers in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food and Forestry that the CFTC’s mandate is currently limited to combating fraud and manipulation of digital assets without clear rules. . The CFTC chair added that because there is a variety of regulators and law enforcement across many government agencies, much of the agency’s actions over the past seven years have “relied heavily on clues and whistleblowers” that have led to cryptocurrency and non-crypto fraud. That is an illegal action. procedures. to the attention of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
“We have a number of exchange-traded derivatives for cryptocurrencies on several CFTC-listed exchanges, but the view of the underlying market is mostly limited,” Behnam said. “Basically, it’s an unregulated market […] There’s a lot we don’t see because of these limited powers.”
The CFTC leader added:
“We don’t have any of the very advanced market watchers, so it gives us a very, very narrow view of what is really happening in the market. It will highlight this market, so to speak, with more openness, which will just allow us to see what is happening under the hood.”
On February 9, CFTC leader Rustin Behnam addressed the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Behnam, who has served as the acting chair of the CFTC since January 2021 before being confirmed by the Senate last month, had previously likened the authorities’ control of the digital asset room to a police officer on standby. With Behnam as chair of the CFTC’s board, she was involved in legal cases against crypto exchange BitMEX, where the company agreed to pay a $100 million civil fine, as well as Tether and Bitfinex, which were fined $42.5 million by the commission in October.
“No single regulator, whether governmental or federal, has sufficient transparency in its digital asset trading activities to fully monitor conflicts of interest and misleading business practices affecting private clients,” Behnam said in a written statement to the committee. .
On the subject: US Lawmakers Call for Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and SEC to Form Joint Working Group on Digital Assets
The second set of Senate Agriculture Committee hearings will give lawmakers access to industry experts, including US FTX Chairman Samuel Bankman-Fried. On the other side of the hill, members of the Financial Services Commission met on Tuesday to discuss the recommendations of the President’s Working Group on the Financial Markets Report on Stack Coins.