Dan Berkowitz, one of three commissioners currently serving on the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said that while the agency is suitable for futures contracts, exchanges and options trading, it will need additional resources to manage the cash market of crypto assets.
Speaking at the Managed Funds Association’s Digital Assets Conference on Tuesday, Barkovitz said the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC, has taken “aggressive” measures against cryptocurrencies, citing the derivative exchange BitMix. Although he said the company has the “ability and capability” to further control crypto resources, it is currently unable to do so due to “resource issues”.
“If Congress decides that our jurisdiction should somehow be extended to control the cash market, we will really need additional resources to do so,” Berkowitz said. “In the cryptocurrency market, we are not necessarily looking for more authority without more resources. We are standing in our alley. ”
Barcovitz noted that there was “a lot of coordination” between the agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Crime Enforcement Network, the Federal Reserve, the Controller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Treasury. CFTC has worked with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to settle lawsuits against Bitmax and has coordinated with the SEC to search for trading apps that trade in crypto.
“We’re all pretty familiar with the lanes we all go into,” Berkowitz said, referring to the agency’s jurisdiction. “I think the combination is actually nice.”
The CFTC commissioner has doubled in his comments since June that sales-oriented finance platforms are probably illegal under the Commodity Exchange Act. According to Barkovits, there was a “centralization spectrum” around projects in the DFI space that could make them subject to registration with the CFTC.
Related: CFTC Renewal: What Biden’s New Agency Adopts for Crypto Control
The CFTC typically has five commissioners, but the departure of former chair Heath Turbert in January and Brian Quintenz on Aug. 1 has left the organization shaky. Acting chairs Rostin Behnam and Don Stump.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden said he plans to nominate Behnam to fill the remaining seats with law professor Christine Johnson and former SEC enforcement senior councilor Christy Goldsmith Romero, as well as take her position on a permanent basis. All must be confirmed by the Democrat-controlled Senate, but the White House has not yet announced a possible replacement for Barcovitz.