Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chair Rostin Behnam has expressed his belief that the price of bitcoin could skyrocket if the cryptocurrency is traded in a CFTC-regulated market. He, therefore, argued that institutional players would feel more comfortable jumping into the cryptocurrency space when there is regulatory clarity.
CFTC Oversight Boosts Chances Of New Capital Flowing Into Crypto Industry
CFTC chairman Rostin Behnam told attendees of a fireside chat at NYU School of Law that CFTC-led regulation would be a boon for the crypto sector. The chair added that a holistic regulatory framework provided by the primary regulator for derivatives would attract institutional money awaiting regulatory certainty.
Cryptocurrencies are a largely unregulated asset class. There has been no real effort from prominent governments to ensure the budding field is brought under more comprehensive and industry-specific rules. In the U.S., a turf war between the SEC and the CFTC over who becomes the chief regulator of the crypto space has been simmering for years.
Still, 2022 is expected to be a watershed year in crypto regulation, especially after President Joe Biden signed an executive order that set the gears in motion for the creation of a road map for oversight.
For Behnam, the rules heading for crypto might actually be a really good thing.
“Non-bank [crypto] institutions thrive on regulation, they thrive on regulatory certainty, they thrive on a level playing field, […] because they are the smartest, the fastest and the most well-resourced,” he postulated.
Road To Regulation
Behnam revealed that he was in favour of a bill introduced in the Senate Agriculture Committee, which seeks to install the CFTC as the primary, fully funded U.S. cryptocurrency regulator. Such a distinction would finally end the squabbling between the CFTC and the SEC.
At the moment, the CFTC chair says his commission has been unable to pursue greater oversight and regulation of the crypto industry due to the lack of enough resources with its current funding model. To that end, Behnam said the CFTC is especially unable to conduct its own investigations and only relies on whistleblowers, leads, and customer complaints.
The CFTC chief has previously stated unequivocally that he considered both Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are the dominant cryptocurrencies by market cap, to be commodities.
BTC was hovering around the $19,400 mark at press time, according to CoinMarketCap data.