The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the regulatory agency that shares primary responsibility for crypto regulation with the Securities Exchange Commission, will undergo a restructuring to become more proactive and comprehensive , CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam said. announcement July 25. LabCFTC, which has been described as “the focal point of the CFTC’s efforts to promote responsible fintech innovation,” will become the Office of Technology Innovation (OTI) and report directly to the president’s office.
“We are now engaged in a more proactive and comprehensive effort across the agency to regulate these markets with the tools currently available to us,” Behnam said during a Brookings Institute webinar, adding, “Our key policy divisions now directly address how the CFTC can leverage our existing authority to provide important regulatory protections to this market.
In addition, the commission’s Office of Customer Education and Outreach will be “realigned” within the Office of Public Affairs to better serve new retail market participants. The high level of retail participants sets the digital asset market apart from other commodities, Behnam observed, citing CFTC studies that show:
“Indicative trades by retail participants represent approximately 25% of long-term open interest in the Bitcoin futures market.”
Behnam also complained of regulators’ “collective analysis paralysis” as fintech surged ahead. Behnam has not always been so calmly resigned to working within the agency’s current authorities, which lack surveillance and market-control capabilities, as he showed today. In February, he told the Senate Agriculture Committeewho oversees his agency, that his reliance on tips and whistleblowers to uncover illicit activity “a very, very narrow lens on what’s really going on in the market.”