Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman Rostin Behnam said Thursday the crypto industry has “a massive opportunity for institutional inflows that will only occur if there’s a regulatory structure,” pushing for his office to lead the effort.

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Fast facts

  • “Growth might occur if we have a well-regulated space,” Behnam said, adding: “Bitcoin might double in price if there’s a CFTC-regulated market.”
  • “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 said. 
  • Benham’s statements follow growing international calls for crypto regulation, with the European Commission’s Mairead McGuinness recently urging international coordination in resolving the challenges the industry poses to “some of the fundamental aspects of the financial system.” 
  • Behnam also claimed the CFTC’s budget is currently too limited to effectively monitor the crypto industry. “The 60 or so cases [the CFTC] has brought, we’ve had to solely rely on whistleblowers, on customer complaints and on tips coming to us,” he said. 
  • Behnam also declared his support for a bill introduced by the Senate Agriculture Committee which would license the CFTC as the primary regulator of the crypto industry. This would resolve the long-running dispute between the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission over who is to regulate which aspects of the crypto industry, as well as allowing the commission to impose fines, healing the “wounds and scars” of their underfunding. 
  • Behnam said it is these issues of incomplete crypto regulation and the CFTC’s supposed underfunding that is limiting their ability to fight crypto crime.

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