CFTC chair to testify at latest Senate hearing on digital assets

The Senate Agriculture Committee is holding a hearing on digital assets a week from today, and it's calling the head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in to testify. 

The committee will convene a number of experts for a session on digital assets, entitled "Examining Digital Assets: Risks, Regulation, and Innovation." The February 9 hearing will see CFTC Chair Rostin Benham testify first, with a second panel to follow. The second panel includes CEO of the Chamber of Digital Commerce Perianne Boring, CEO of FTX Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of Global Blockchain Business Council Sandra Ro and Wharton Professor Kevin Werbach. 


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Because most of the original commodities markets were for agricultural products like wheat and cattle, the CFTC remains under the purview of the Agriculture Committees of the House and Senate, while most financial regulation falls to the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee.

The Agriculture Committee will hold its hearing the week before the Senate Banking Committee turns its attentions to stablecoins in a February 15 hearing. The House Financial Services Committee will also hold its own stablecoin hearing on February 8. 

Though no witness lists have been published for the stablecoin hearings, the Treasury's undersecretary for domestic finance, Nellie Liang, is expected to be the sole witness at both the House and Senate's sessions. Though, sources told The Block that the Senate witness list is more likely to be augmented. Liang has spearheaded the Tresasury's recent work on stablecoins.

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Aislinn Keely is a reporter on The Block's policy team holding down the legal beat. She covers court decisions, bankruptcies, regulatory actions and other key moments in the legal sphere, putting them in context for the wider crypto industry. Before The Block, she lent her voice to the NPR affiliate WFUV and helmed Fordham University's student newspaper. Send tips or thoughts on all things policy and legal to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter for updates @AislinnKeely.