According to the chairman, an additional $100 million in budget funding may be required.
Bitcoin and Ether futures are already regulated by a derivatives authority.
The head of Wall Street’s main derivatives regulator has pushed Congress to grant his agency additional authority and a larger budget to monitor bitcoin trading.
Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Rostin Behnam, said on Wednesday that the regulator’s annual budget of roughly $300 million may need to be increased by at least $100 million to cover the new obligations. The CFTC’s current job of overseeing Bitcoin and Ether derivatives and investigating fraud or manipulation in underlying crypto markets, according to Behnam, positions the agency to take on a larger role.
During a hearing on crypto assets, Behnam told members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, “We know market structure, we know surveillance, and we know enforcement.” “We’re a couple steps ahead of schedule and ready to go if this committee and Congress want it.”
Beyond its present enforcement capabilities, the CFTC chief advised that Congress consider giving the agency broader authority to regulate crypto assets on which derivatives are based. Senator Debbie Stabenow, the panel’s chairwoman, believes the regulator’s mandate should be increased. She previously stated that the two most popular coins, Bitcoin and Ether, are commodities. Together, those two cryptocurrencies account for around 60% of the $2 trillion digital asset market.
The CFTC’s move comes as Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler has drawn attention for taking a tough stance on cryptocurrency, implying that most coins are subject to his agency’s regulations. Behnam told the panel that, like with derivatives, the CFTC and the SEC may collaborate to share oversight. Behnam noted that “a considerable number of coins” would fall under the swaps regulator’s jurisdiction.