U.S. SEC Chair Gary Gensler Backs CFTC Regulation of Crypto

Gary Gensler

United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Gary Gensler said at an industry conference on Thursday that he would support the bipartisan effort to bring cryptocurrency regulation under the purview of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). 

Recall that in June, the U.S. Senate passed its first bipartisan bill dubbed the Responsible Financial Innovation ACT, classifying some cryptocurrencies as ancillary assets and treating virtual assets as commodities like gold and crude oil.

Senators Cynthia M. Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand drafted the legislation that placed the CFTC in charge of establishing an adequate regulatory framework to regulate the asset class.

SEC Chair Supports Congress Decision

According to the Wall Street Journal, the SEC chair noted that he looks forward to working with Congress to make the Commodities watchdog the sole market regulator to “oversee and regulate crypto non-security tokens and related intermediaries.”

Gensler, who previously worked as the CFTC chairman between May 2009 and January 2014, also said that he is open to working with other law enforcers “as long as it doesn’t take away power from the SEC.”

“Let’s ensure that we don’t inadvertently undermine securities laws underlying $100 trillion capital markets. The securities laws have made our capital markets envy the world,” he said. 

While the recent comments suggest that most cryptocurrencies are identified as commodities, Gensler has on several occasions clamored that cryptocurrencies should be brought under the jurisdiction of the SEC. He argued that assets such as bitcoin should be recognized as securities. 

In June, the SEC chair said he was working with the CFTC and other financial markets regulatory agencies to introduce one rulebook that would properly govern the entire cryptocurrency industry. 

The book seeks to tighten loopholes in existing rules to prevent malicious actors from exploiting the system. 

CFTC Pushes to Regulate Cash Market

Meanwhile, CFTC plans to expand its scope outside the derivatives markets, which it presently oversees across the cash and spot market, that investors are highly interested in and widely used to trade cryptocurrencies on the go. 

Last month, the WSJ reported that pioneers of the Senate Agriculture Committee, which controls the CFTC, are pushing legislation that would subject Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) to be regulated under the agency. 

CFTC chair Rostin Behnam has also asked Congress to introduce another rule that would ultimately allow the Commission to regulate certain types of cash markets for cryptocurrencies. 

Behnam further requested funding to enable the commodities market watchdogs to conduct more oversight. 

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