Gensler supports granting CFTC more power over spot markets

Quick Take

  • SEC Chair Gary Gensler supports expanding his former agency’s power over digital asset markets, beyond its current role in futures and derivatives. 

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission just gained a powerful ally in its push for authority over crypto spot markets.  

Speaking at an event at Georgetown University, Securites and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler endorsed the idea of Congress granting more direct authority over certain tokens to the U.S. commodities regulator, which he used to chair. 

"I think the CFTC could well have greater authorities. They currently do not have direct regulatory authorities over the underlying non-security tokens,” Gensler told an audience for Georgetown University's Financial Markets Quality Conference in Washington. 

The CFTC itself has pushed for direct authority over digital assets that the U.S. classifies as commodities. Those currently consist of bitcoin and ether, the two largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, though Gensler suggested last month that the latter could be a security.

In remarks today he added that, "you can count on the fingers of a hand or two," the projects that don't fall under the SEC's jurisdiction. 

Gensler's support for broadening the CFTC's authority follows a recommendation from the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a super committee of U.S. regulators, which also made the recommendation in a unanimous vote. Gensler sits on that panel. 


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