A bill that would grant the Commodities Futures Trading Commission regulatory power over cryptocurrencies was sponsored by Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.). According to the proposed legislation, the CFTC would compel all cryptocurrency platforms, including traders, dealers, brokers, and websites that store cryptocurrency for users, to register.
Rostin Behnam, the head of the CFTC and a former staffer to Senator Debbie Stabenow, recently gave testimony before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, which has oversight of the CFTC. Behnam testified that the CFTC needs more power to effectively regulate cryptocurrency. The Senate committee is headed by Stabenow and Boozman.
As prices throughout the industry continue to decline since their peak in November, calls for greater regulation of cryptocurrencies have reached a climax this year. The most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is currently only worth a small portion of its all-time high, having dropped from over $68,000 in November 2021 to roughly $23,000 this week.
In recent years, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has acted as the main regulating body for cryptocurrencies. Consumer activists and some members of Congress have urged that the SEC, rather than the CFTC, should have regulatory jurisdiction. Last year, the CFTC had 666 workers and a $304 million budget. The SEC, in contrast, had 4,500 full-time staff and a budget of close to $2 billion, according to the Associated Press.
The AP also notes that the cryptocurrency sector, which views the CFTC as a more "industry-friendly" regulator than the SEC, would view the adoption of the Stabenow-Boozman measure as a victory. According to Cory Klippsten, CEO of Swan Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency sector is “trying to get anyone other than the SEC to regulate them,”
This measure is the most recent federal effort to control the cryptocurrency sector. Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) introduced the Responsible Financial Innovation Act in June. The IRS would be required to issue guidelines on digital assets under this law, which would also establish a distinction between digital assets that are securities and those that are commodities. Furthermore, it identifies the CFTC as the chief regulator of the cryptocurrency industry.
President Biden issued an executive order earlier this year directing government President Biden issued an executive order earlier this year directing government This came after the government urged Congress to enact crypto legislation in a 22-page study released in November.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Blaze.