Who will be the regulator of the crypto market in the United States?

Last Updated: 10 June 2022

The CFTC is interested in the role of regulator for the crypto market in the United States. This is in line with a recommendation from the bill that is to regulate crypto markets.

Crypto sector wants the CFTC

There are calls from the crypto sector and from politicians for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to become a regulator, says Summer Mersinger, commissioner at the CFTC. It would mean an expansion of powers, the CFTC now oversees derivatives markets.

Major players in the crypto sector are backing the idea of the CFTC as their regulator, and the bill proposed by Senators Cyntia Lummis (Republican from Wyoming) and Kirsten Gillibrand (Democrat from New York) also calls for this. So far, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in particular has been busy enforcing regulations among crypto companies.

“You see the industry coming together around the CFTC to have that become the primary regulator,” says Mersinger.

Different approach than the SEC

The organisation itself has begun investigating the possibilities of taking an active role in crypto-currencies. To this end, employees are looking at sub-areas such as spot crypto trading. Mersinger said that her agency does not traditionally regulate spot crypto trading and that the research only provides preliminary conclusions.

“We are a strong regulator, but the parties that are registered with us still have a lot of flexibility,” says Mersinger. “They are very interested in this kind of approach as opposed to the top-down approach of some other regulators.”

Mersinger does not mention the SEC with this, but seems to sum up the sentiment in the crypto sector quite nicely. Her colleague Rostin Behnam, chairman of the CFTC, said at an event yesterday that he is charmed by Lummis’ proposed law.

The law “would give the CFTC authority to make regulations and regulate parties,” Behnam said. And since the industry also charges fees for the oversight that funds the agency, people could also be hired “so we can also regulate the market in the right way,” Behnam said.

  • Ivan Brightly

    Ivan Brightly is a leading cryptocurrency analyst and author with over 5 years of experience in the blockchain and digital asset space. He previously served as a senior analyst at a major cryptocurrency hedge fund where he led quantitative research and trading strategy development.

    Ivan holds a Master's degree in Finance from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor's in Computer Science from Stanford University. He is frequently invited to speak at fintech and blockchain conferences worldwide on topics spanning cryptocurrency trading, blockchain technology, and the future of digital assets.

    Ivan's commentary has been featured in several major finance and technology publications including Forbes, Bloomberg, and CoinDesk. He is considered one of the most insightful voices analyzing new developments in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry.

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