U.S SEC and CFTC Admits Growth in Digital Assets Industry

Wilfred Michael 

Wilfred Michael

News reporter

09 May 2019,
U.S SEC and CFTC Admits Growth in Digital Assets Industry

The United States financial market regulators duly recognize the fast pace at which its local cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem is growing, hence a mention of the new industry at the Testimony for the 2020 Fiscal Year budget request on May 8.

In a hearing before the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) Chairman, Jay Clayton acknowledged that during the past year, his agency, as well as the U.S Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), has focused on strengthening the country's financial markets.

Among other divisions of the U.S financial market, Clayton mentioned cryptocurrencies, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and similar products as segments that both the SEC and the CFTC paid great attention to during the last fiscal year.

For the 2020 fiscal year too, Clayton stated perhaps in line with a recent job listing that the SEC hopes to add four new positions to its Division of Trading and Markets, the arm responsible for regulating major securities market participants.

The primary role of recruits under the new positions will include expanding the Division’s expertise with regards to the digital asset markets and other classes, as well as the operations of trading firms.

A fraction of the SEC Chairman’s budget request of $1.746 billion, a 4.2 percent increase over the FY 2019 will no doubt go into the recruits prompted by the growth witnessed in the digital asset industry

On his part, CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo highlighted a need for his agency to continue adapting to “the extraordinary pace of exponential technological change, the disintermediation of traditional actors and business models, and the need for technological literacy and big data capability.”

Speaking further about what specific areas the CFTC needs to give more attention, the top official noted that the regulatory agency should be able to “conduct independent market data analysis across different data sources, including decentralized blockchains and networks.”

According to him, the CFTC does not need to be “reliant on self-regulatory organizations and market intermediaries” to carry out such analysis. A fraction of the $284 million budget request by the CFTC Chair will also likely be channeled into the market data analysis prompted by the growth in the digital asset industry.

Meanwhile, the testimony of the two leading regulators has come at a time when the U.S crypto industry continues to witness exponential growth even with the lack of a clear regulatory framework. Although Chairman J. Christopher said last month that the regulators are not suppressing the emerging industry, we reported renewed efforts by U.S lawmakers to provide a clearer and uniformed regulatory framework.


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