US CFTC Commissioner Cites Latest Crypto Sanction in Call for New Rules

US CFTC Commissioner Cites Latest Crypto Sanction in Call for New Rules

  • Policy
  • December 8, 2022
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It was recently announced that Kristin Johnson wants her agency to work on policies so they can further tighten custody of customer assets. This is in response to the CFTC imposing sanctions on a crypto Ponzi scheme.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is still figuring out how to oversee crypto trading, but in the meantime, Commissioner Kristin Johnson supports using the agency’s existing power to regulate safety issues for customers’ assets.

In a statement the other day, Karen Johnson urged the CFTC to use its existing authority to help prevent further losses to customers of digital assets. She called her statement a “call for action” against digital-asset fraud.

“Liquidity crises and a lack of responsible governance at cryptocurrency exchanges and other prominent crypto-intermediaries have roiled the digital asset ecosystem,” Johnson said. “A series of bankruptcy filings reveals a grim portrait of some of the most egregious corporate governance and risk management failures in recent financial markets history.”

Johnson said this statement as the CFTC sanctioned another crypto industry player: Jeremy Spence, who was originally “Coin Signals” and was sentenced to 42 months in prison for defrauding investors out of $5 million.

Agency rule-making is limited to the firms it currently regulates or those that have registered with them. There are many challenges this creates, including the lack of regulation of financial trading in relationship to cryptocurrencies that falls outside the scope of their authority.

One of the biggest obstacles for crypto spot markets is that there is currently no federal regulatory oversight. The CFTC’s jurisdiction ends with derivatives platforms and potential fraud within the underlying commodity markets.

Behnam has been clear that he couldn’t comment on whether FTX would be penalized at this time, but he said that “enforcement cases take time” and that “we’re moving expeditiously.” He also described his enforcement team as “laser-focused on this right now.”

With a statement, Johnson predicted the mergers and acquisitions that are happening in the crypto industry.

“As we unravel the tangled web of interconnected financial transactions and relationships among cryptocurrency trading platforms, we should anticipate a season of mergers, acquisitions and consolidations.” she said.


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