Crypto should be regulated by CFTC, not SEC, Treasury: Ex-official

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, rather than the Securities and Exchanges Commission or the U.S. Treasury, should supervise cryptocurrency markets, its former chairman told Yahoo Finance in an interview on Friday.

As the debate over digital token oversight takes shape and the White House prepares an overarching strategy, J. Christopher Giancarlo said it’s time for Congress to take the lead and permit his former agency to run point on the asset class’ regulation. An inter-agency coalition, which includes the SEC and Treasury, has broadened to include the FBI and Department of Justice.

But by appointing the CFTC as primary regulator, it would help facilitate institutions engaging in retail markets, “because those markets would have a well established federal regulator overseeing those markets, and looking after things like consumer protection, and adequate funding and protections against fraud and manipulation of those markets,” Giancarlo told Yahoo Finance Live.

The ex-regulator also suggested industry oversight by a self-regulatory organization (SRO), well as an update to how crypto assets are classified as financial instruments.

In fact, current CFTC Chair Rostin Behnam made the same pitch to lawmakers last week, with Congress set to become the ultimate arbiter of any new regulations. The Federal Reserve is also mulling a digital dollar, a proposal that’s become mired in concerns that a Fed coin could undermine the U.S. dollar’s dominance.

Separately, the SEC has…

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