Crypto Industry Welcomes Potential CFTC Regulation

Crypto market participants have welcomed proposed legislation from US Senators that would give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission power to regulate digital commodities.

On August 3 U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and John Boozman (R-AR), Ranking Member, along with Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and John Thune (R-SD) introduced the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act of 2022 to give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission new tools and authorities to regulate digital commodities. 

Senator Boozman said in a statement digital assets and blockchain technology have already, and will continue, to change the way global markets function but is currently governed largely by a patchwork of regulations at the state level which is not an effective way to protect consumers from fraud. 

“Rrelying solely on state regulation does not ensure that rules and regulations work for all stakeholders,” Boozman added. “Our bill will empower the CFTC with exclusive jurisdiction over the digital commodities spot market, which will lead to more safeguards for consumers, market integrity and innovation in the digital commodities space.”

An overview of the legislation can be found here.

A section by section description of the legislation can be found here.

A copy of the bill text can be found here.

Sam Bankman-Fried, chief executive of crypto exchange FTX, said:

Faryar Shirzad, chief policy officer at US-listed crypto exchange Coinbase, said:

Jake Chervinsky, head of policy at the Blockchain Association, said:

The Crypto Council for Innovation, a trade body, said:

Rostin Behnam, chairman of the CFTC, said in statement: “As American investors continue to demonstrate growing interest in digital assets, there is a greater need to bring these markets within the regulatory fold.  We are at a critical inflection point where new legislative authority is needed to clarify ambiguities and provide a regulatory framework to the digital commodity market that protects customers, provides market integrity and certainty, and ensures financial stability.

However Better Markets,  the non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, disagreed that the CFTC should be given jurisdiction over crypto.

Dennis Kelleher, president and chief executive of Better Markets, said in a statement: “The financial industry and its allies in Congress have made sure that the CFTC has been chronically underfunded for decades. While the professionals at the CFTC do an outstanding job with what little they are given to work with, they cannot fulfill their current responsibilities. It will be beyond hopeless if they are also given responsibility for a vast, growing, and technically complex industry like crypto on top of all that.”

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