US Senate confirms CFTC chairman while President Biden announces the election of commissioners

Legislators in Congress upheld the appointment of Rostin Behnam, Commissioner of the Commission for trading in commodity futures contracts that he had acted as interim president in order to take up his office on a permanent basis.

In a vote on Wednesday evening, members of the US Senate approved the election of President Joe Biden as chairman of the CFTC. Behnam has been Commissioner since 2017 and, following the departure of Heath Tarbert in January, President-in-Office.

At his confirmatory hearing before the Senate Agriculture, Food and Forestry Committee in October, Behnam urged lawmakers to consider expanding the powers of the CFTC in the face of the emerging digital asset market. He said the CFTC was “Aggressive prosecution of law enforcement proceedings” in the cryptocurrency space and compare their approach to law enforcement officers doing their duty.

US Senate confirms CFTC chairman while President Biden announces the election of commissioners
US Senate confirms CFTC chairman while President Biden announces the election of commissioners

“Given the size, scope and scale of this emerging market, its relationship with and impact on retail customers, and its rapid growth and potential risks to financial stability in the future, I believe it is of the utmost importance to have a knowing Chief Police Officer”, said Behnam at the time.

Confirmation came on the same day that President Biden announced the election of two more commissioners to the CFTC. A notice from the White House on Wednesday revealed his plans.

There are currently only two of the regular five commissioners in the CFTC, and with Stump’s planned departure in February 2022, Biden will have the opportunity to completely transform the commission with four vacant positions. In December, the US President announced that he would nominate Kristin Johnson, Professor of Law at Emory University, and Christy Goldsmith Romero, former Senior Counsel in the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Such a large change in direction by the CFTC could easily have an impact on the regulation and legal enforcement of the cryptocurrency space. Currently, the Securities and Exchange Commission, CFTC, and Financial Crimes Control Network are responsible for regulating digital assets in the country, but with different judicial requirements, creating a mosaic approach that companies need to navigate in order to operate legally. During Benham’s tenure as acting chairman, the commission fined Tether and Bitfinex $ 42.5 million and entered into an agreement with the BitMEX exchange to pay a $ 100 million civil fine.

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