CFTC Chair Indicates Agency Will Increase Crypto Enforcement: Report

Rostin Behnam said the agency was facing a rapidly increasing number of cases and would add resources to address crypto fraud.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will add resources and increase its efforts to address cryptocurrency-related fraud and manipulation cases, agency Chairman Rostin Behnam said Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In video remarks at the Chainalysis Links conference, Behnam said that the CFTC was facing a surging number of these types of cases.

In the past fiscal year, the agency filed 23 crypto-related cases, nearly half the total number of its enforcement actions involving digital assets since 2015.

“Headlines about the loss of tens of millions of dollars in digital assets due to protocol exploits, phishing attacks, preying on vulnerable people and other fraudulent and manipulative schemes have become far too common,” he said.

In a confirmation hearing for the chairman role last October, Behnam said that the CFTC was ready to take primary responsibility for crypto enforcement. “I think it’s important for this committee to reconsider and consider expanding authority for the CFTC,” Behnam said.

The issue has been a major point of debate among lawmakers and regulators, some of whom believe the Securities and Exchange Commission should fill the primary cop role.