WASHINGTON — The head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission called on lawmakers on 9 February to grant his agency authority to regulate cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, saying the “speculative fervour” around such assets has left investors in need of protection.
In a hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee, which oversees derivatives markets, CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam also echoed the scepticism expressed by his fellow Biden administration regulators about the potential that cryptocurrencies offer.
“My responsibility is to assume that it will continue to take root and that this technology will continue to emerge and wind itself into traditional finance,” Behnam said in response to a senator’s question about whether cryptocurrency is likely to grow its role in the financial system. “If we don’t approach the technology that way, we run the risk of stability and safety issues and soundness issues.”
Behnam suggested Congress pass a law that would allow the CFTC to regulate cash markets for certain types of cryptocurrencies — currently the agency is limited…