CFTC Chief Asks Congress for More Money to Oversee Blockchain

The CFTC has cited the advance of technologies like blockchain in a request to obtain additional funding for its oversight activities.

Jun 28, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:29 p.m. UTC

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has cited the advance of technologies like blockchain in a request to obtain additional funding for oversight activities.

from acting CFTC chairman J Christopher Giancarlo reveals that the agency – which oversees the sale and trade of commodity derivatives in the US – wants an additional $31.5m in funding (for a total of $281.5m for fiscal year 2018) to help support its market surveillance work in an era of rapid technological change. Giancarlo's request was sent to the US Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government.

Among those technologies is blockchain, about which Giancarlo has struck a broadly optimistic note in the past. In a CoinDesk op-ed from December, he wrote that he believes "in its promising benefits for the financial marketplace and financial regulators".

That said, according to his testimony, the tech is likely to create new issues for regulators.

Giancarlo told the subcommittee:

"Other breaking digital innovations present equal regulatory challenges....[like] distributed ledger technology, more commonly known as blockchain, that will challenge orthodoxies that are foundational to today’s financial market infrastructure."

The CFTC isn't the only agency pointing to the impact of blockchain as part of its requests for federal funding.

Last week, CoinDesk reported that the FBI has requested $21m in additional funds to support investigations involving emerging technologies like digital currencies.

Image by Michael del Castillo for CoinDesk

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