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Biden Appoints an Acting CFTC Chair to Oversee Cryptocurrency

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EDITOR NOTE: Joe Biden just appointed a new cryptocurrency attack dog. Rostin Behnam will soon be (the official) chair of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Behnam has been acting chair since the beginning of the year, but still hasn’t been confirmed by the Senate. In his time at the head of the CFTC, he’s already slapped multimillion-dollar fines on two of the biggest crypto exchanges out there for not sharing enough private data with the government. He’s also on record saying “that the federal government should have a role in regulating the cryptocurrency market as it continues to see strong retail-investor interest.” This means that as more big financial institutions get involved in crypto, he believes the government should have more control over the markets so they can protect Big Finance. 

In what appears to be a long-overdue appointment, Rostin Behnam will be named chair of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission by President Joe Biden, according to an Aug. 14 report by Bloomberg.

The top derivatives regulator has been rudderless since the departure of Heath Tarbert in January.

Behnam was appointed as the CFTC’s acting chairman in January, but he’s yet to be nominated, let alone confirmed by the Senate.    

His nomination is expected to be officially announced in the coming weeks, according to an anonymous source cited in the Bloomberg report.     

As reported by U.Today, BitMEX, one of the leading cryptocurrency derivatives exchanges, recently agreed to pay a $100 million fine in order to settle charges brought by the CFTC and FinCEN.

In his statement, Behnam stressed the importance of adhering to “a culture compliance”:

This case reinforces the expectation that the digital assets industry, as it continues to touch a broader pool of market participants, takes seriously its responsibilities in the regulated financial industry and its duties to develop and adhere to a culture of compliance.      

In March, the CFTC also slapped Coinbase, the largest U.S. crypto exchange, with a $6.5 million fine for inaccurate reporting, but the investigation of the case predated Behnam’s time in office.

In March, Behnam opined that the federal government should have a role in regulating the cryptocurrency market as it continues to see strong retail-investor interest.

In the meantime, there are reports about a brewing turf war between the CFTC and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over cryptocurrency regulation.

Original post from U Today

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