CFTC seeks additional powers to oversee cryptocurrencies


CFTC powers are needed to establish fraud-preventive rules for the cryptocurrency market. This follows from the theses of the speech of the head of department Rostin Benam for hearings in the US Congress.

According to him, the digital asset industry “suffers from deceit and manipulation.” The commission is actively maintaining order in this market, collecting more than $4 billion in fines and restitution in 85 cases.

“But our power in the commodity token spot market is inherently limited to being able to act only after the fraud has occurred,” Benham said.

He believes that the department should be able to:

  • set standards to prevent conflicts of interest;
  • introduce rules to maintain fair, open and transparent markets;
  • actively control trading.

According to Benam, it is advisable that in the future SEC controlled the portion of the market subject to securities laws.

The head of the CFTC recalled that his department is the only regulator in the US that is completely dependent on budget funding. Other regulatory authorities have different mechanisms for raising funds.

“Regulating the digital goods marketplace will bring new responsibilities to the CFTC that cannot be met by simply including this marketplace under our existing oversight regime with the resources available,” Benham said.

He formally chaired the Commission in December 2021, having previously served as acting chairman since January.

In July 2022, Benham announced the creation of a new division within the agency to oversee digital assets.

In March 2023, the CFTC filed a civil lawsuit against the largest crypto exchange Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao. In June, the SEC filed claims against the company.

Recall that the head of the latter, Gary Gensler, has repeatedly spoken out in favor of expanding the powers of the CFTC in the digital currency market.

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