Rostin Behnam is the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the financial organization that governs bitcoin.
Rostin Behnam Is Neutral on Crypto
For the most part, Behnam is a neutral figure when it comes to crypto, and he recently sat down for an interview to discuss where he sees the industry going in the coming future. He commented:
I think there’s a few folks who wish this technology might go away, think it might go away, think it might go offshore, but I think there are several reasons from a U.S. perspective that it’s important we engage [with the industry]. We need to ask the hard questions about whether this is the future of finance and the future of our economy, which it very well may be.
While he acknowledges that there are various risks involved with the crypto space, he also stated that the growth of the space happening as quickly as it has is a fascinating thing to think about. So far, he is not viewed as being a tyrant, like most crypto traders see Gary Gensler, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Despite this, Behnam says that if he were to be required to step in and enforce appropriate regulation, he would do so despite what it could do to his reputation or how it could make people see him.
Adding his own comments to the mix was Gary DeWaal, a former CFTC enforcement lawyer who now works with the firm Katten Muchin Rosenman. He mentioned:
If somebody thinks you’re going to get a pass at the CFTC, I think that’s a mistaken belief. Any violation is going to be met with enforcement actions by either regulator. They’re going to be severe.
CFTC Commissioner Caroline Pham stated that should the CFTC be given more regulatory power over crypto she doesn’t think regulators will be any less tough than those at the SEC. She said:
We’ve been very strong in enforcement in the digital asset space. Anybody who thinks that the CFTC is not going to be tough might have missed when we fined all the banks billions of dollars for fraud and manipulation after the financial crisis.
Mike Selig – an attorney based in New York – said that just because agencies will come down hard on lagging regulation doesn’t mean crypto fans should see them as “unfriendly.” He mentioned:
New laws and rules will be needed to accommodate [decentralized finance], but I think there is a willingness both at the commissioner level and staff level to work with the crypto industry to bring responsible innovation to the U.S.
Love for Filecoin?
Behnam has expressed enthusiasm for digital assets like Filecoin in the past, recently commenting:
I used to rave about Filecoin… It’s empowering us as individuals.