Securities Regulation Daily Wrap Up, TOP STORY—Letter to CFTC seeks information on digital assets and related emerging technologies, (Jan 12, 2022)

By R. Jason Howard, J.D.

Congress wants to further understand the benefits and risks and identify the CFTC’s role.

On January 12, 2022, the United States Congress issued a press release concerning a Bipartisan and Bicameral letter sent to Rostin Behnam, Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), by U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nut ...

By R. Jason Howard, J.D.

Congress wants to further understand the benefits and risks and identify the CFTC’s role.

On January 12, 2022, the United States Congress issued a press release concerning a Bipartisan and Bicameral letter sent to Rostin Behnam, Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), by U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member John Boozman (R-Ark.), along with House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott (D-Ga.) and Ranking Member Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-Penn.), requesting more information on the digital asset marketplace, “including its rapid growth, use among retail customers, and the CFTC’s role in protecting customers from fraud and abuse.”

“More and more Americans are trading digital assets like Bitcoin, but there’s still a lot we don’t know about the risks,” said Senator Stabenow. “Given the CFTC’s experience with these markets, we are calling on Chairman Behnam and his staff to help us further understand the benefits and risks presented by digital assets and related emerging technologies. I look forward to working with the Commission and my colleagues on the Agriculture Committees to make the digital asset marketplace a safer place for investors.”

“As both institutional and retail investment in digital assets continue to grow, it's important Congress gain a better understanding of these financial instruments and the proper role regulators should play to encourage innovation while also protecting consumers. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees, as well as the CFTC and market stakeholders, as we identify the appropriate oversight needs in digital asset spot and derivative markets," said Senator Boozman.

“As the digital asset industry continues to rapidly expand, we must ensure that both Congress and the CFTC conduct thoughtful oversight of the industry and are providing adequate regulatory clarity and protections for investors and consumers. I’m proud to join this bipartisan group of leaders from the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to engage the CFTC on their work and important role to ensure responsible growth of the digital asset industry,” said Congressman Scott.

"Like many Americans, I am excited by the potential of digital assets to transform financial markets and commerce, but we must ensure there is effective and fair oversight holding bad actors accountable and protecting customers. The CFTC’s role in this effort is critical, and they know the right balance to maintain a free-market approach and transparency. I look forward to Chairman Behnam’s feedback as we work together to achieve this common goal.” said Congressman Thompson.

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