During an invitation-only crypto symposium at Princeton University, Rostin Behnam, the chief of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), stressed the risks of an uncontrolled crypto industry and the necessity for legislation, as reported by Fortune on Wednesday.
Behnam delivered his remarks at Princeton’s brand-new DeCenter, a blockchain-focused organization financed by prominent cryptocurrency investors and graduates, including those in attendance Joseph Lubin, Michael Novogratz, Peter Briger Jr., and Daniel Morehead.
The CFTC Chief Says Bitcoin Is The Only Commodity
During the speech, Rostin Behnam asserted that the only cryptocurrency asset that can be treated like a commodity is Bitcoin (BTC). Behnam’s recent remarks were a sharp contrast to his earlier ones from October when he asserted that Ethereum might also be considered a commodity.
At the time, he was responding to a question about which cryptocurrencies should be treated as commodities and which ones should be considered securities.
Gary Gensler, the chairman of the SEC, has questioned whether Ether should be governed by the SEC given its switch to a proof-of-stake consensus method. He has claimed that [Ether] is a commodity, but Chair Gensler disagrees.
Behnam complimented agency cooperation while referring to the regulatory grid as an “imperfect system.” Nevertheless, the crypto sector generally considers the CFTC as a friendlier regulator than the SEC, besides the controversy surrounding the Ooki DAO case, a perception that Behnam has worked to dispel.
CFTC Relationship With FTX
Behnam’s CFTC has come under fire since FTX collapsed this month. Numerous crypto community members have raised concerns about the FTX’s former CEO associations with US lawmakers and his pushing attempts to make the CFTC the leading agency in charge of regulating cryptocurrencies.
He “did not address the CFTC’s relationship with FTX,” instead, Behnam emphasized the necessity for regulation in all areas of the cryptocurrency industry, from stablecoins to lenders, to avoid future catastrophes during his speech at Princeton,
He questioned the utility of lending organizations like BlockFi, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this week, by highlighting the participation of regular investors and the absence of crypto use cases beyond speculative ones.
Behnam stressed that it was imperative for regulators to strike a balance between regulation and innovation. He told the crowd that inaction could lead to paralysis but that it would be irresponsible for him to do nothing in the face of uncertainty about how these technologies will develop.
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