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SEC and CFTC Chairpersons Discuss Bitcoin Governance at ISDA Convention

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  • May 12, 2022
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Rostin Behnam and Gary Gensler end up making their viewpoints known in headline remarks at the ISDA general gathering, which was attended by Sam Bankman-Fried.

The Industrial Transfers and Futures Organization (ISDA) conducts an annual conference in Madrid last Wednesday. Chairperson Gary Gensler of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Chairperson Rostin Behnam of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) both were highlighted as presenters at the conference, with Behnam addressing in the day and Gensler presenting on the latter.

“A proposal for a revised notice of certification as a swap clarifying organization (DCO) by an enterprise intending to provide non-intermediated clearance of half of the cast votes commodities to consumer investors,” Behnam said, clearly referring to FTX US’s appeal.

“Due to the possible effect on clearance participants and FCMs [options contracts fee dealers], it is vital, to be honest, and have the pleasure of hearing from the community,” Behnam said, referring to a CFTC discussion on the topic planned for later.

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was available at the event and engaged in a campfire talk just a few hours later, so he could have been hearing as Behnam lectured.

Behnam goes on to recollect his Congressional evidence from February, saying:

“I will actively campaign for and enact legislation that will give the CFTC the ability to build a set of regulations for the money cryptocurrency trading market.”

As CFTC now exclusively controls futures and options, however, it has had regulatory jurisdiction over the money market in the past, like as the punishment it issued on Bitcoin in 2021 for illegal interchange traffic disclosure and “self-trading.”

During his much shorter lecture, Gensler discussed “the confluence of digital currencies with futures.” He stated “:

“If wants to convince safety exchanges, either in the decentralized or centralized banking sphere, companies are subject to regulatory requirements and should comply with our financial system.”

As it creates actual laws for cryptocurrency options, Gensler emphasized the necessity for the ISDA “to realize that even if the asset value is a commodity, the alternative must conform with financial legislation.”

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