IOSCO Taps Belgian Regulator Servais as Chair, US CFTC Chief as No. 2

The global standard setter on securities has been more focused on crypto lately, and new vice chairman Rostin Behnam of the CFTC has been at the center of the U.S. policy debate.

AccessTimeIconOct 19, 2022 at 1:20 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 19, 2022 at 9:12 p.m. UTC
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The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has appointed Belgian regulator Jean-Paul Servais as its new chairman, according to a press release on Wednesday, and he'll be joined by U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission head Rostin Behnam as one of two new vice chairmen.

Servais, who was previously vice chairman of IOSCO's board, will be replacing Ashley Alder. He is also chairman of Belgium's Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA).

The new chairman is no stranger to the crypto world as the FSMA launched a consultation in July to determine whether cryptocurrencies should be classified as securities, investment instruments or financial instruments. He also provided information on cryptocurrencies in a Belgian senate hearing in 2020.

IOSCO, the global standard setter for the securities sector, has been upping its efforts around the crypto sector lately as have many other regulatory bodies in the world that have seen crypto both attract and lose trillions over two years.

The U.S. CFTC is at the center of the debate over future crypto policy, as U.S. lawmakers consider giving it the authority to take a leading role in regulating the trading of digital assets. Its chairman, Behnam, has called for his agency to be able to directly regulate the spot market for trading crypto tokens that aren't securities, such as bitcoin. Legislation now moving through Congress could eventually make that happen.

"I am honored to continue elevating the CFTC within this important international standard-setting body particularly during this time," Behnam said in a statement issued Wednesday by his agency.

Last week, IOSCO called for securities regulators to have the power to demand that foreign crypto ads be taken down, and in July, it published guidance on stablecoin's regulation. Also, IOSCO's fintech task force, which was set up in March, said in June that it would focus on developing global crypto rules.

"IOSCO plays an increasingly important role in ensuring the smooth functioning of today's capital markets and protecting investors, and I look forward to building on Ashley's legacy after his six fruitful years at the helm of IOSCO," Servais said in the press release.

The board also appointed Ariizumi Shigeru, a regulator in Japan, as another vice chairman.

"The road ahead promises to be difficult, given the current geopolitical and economic context," Alder said in the statement.

UPDATE (Oct. 19, 2020 14:36 UTC): Adds picture.

UPDATE (Oct. 19, 17:21 UTC): Adds comment from CFTC's Behnam.


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Camomile Shumba

Camomile Shumba is a CoinDesk regulatory reporter based in the UK. She previously worked as an intern for Business Insider and Bloomberg News. She does not currently hold value in any digital currencies or projects.

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