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The future of digital asset regulation? The CFTC, says Congressional committee

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The Block

Thu, Jun 23, 2022

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On June 23, a subcommittee of the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing on “the Future of Digital Assets Regulation.” That future, by all appearances, looks a lot like it belongs with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

“Should the CFTC have direct statutory authority to regulate cash markets,” asked new subcommittee chairman Sean Maloney (D-NY).

He continued: “Irrespective of which regulator is in charge, that regulator will have to have a builder’s mentality.” Since Rostin Behnam took over as chair of the CFTC, he’s been pushing for the legal green light from Congress to regulate crypto spot markets.

“I think it’s an excellent agency and they’re very well-positioned from what they’re currently doing and what they could do in the future,” Maloney told The Block of the CFTC following the hearing.

Glenn Thompson (R-PN), the ranking member of the full House Ag Committee, appeared at the hearing to plug his Digital Commodity Exchange Act , which would establish a voluntary national regime for CFTC registration.

“I’ve heard criticism about the CFTC that it’s a permissive, light-touch regulator,” said ranking member Michelle Fischbach (R-MN).

But while this committee appears set to hand the CFTC more authority, few are willing to say overtly what many in the crypto space seem to assume this means: less authority for the SEC and, by extension, its oversight in Congress, the House Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees.

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