Commodity Trading Chairman Addresses Crypto Regulation, Farm Market Concerns

The head of a national regulatory group told a gathering of South Dakota residents that his agency could take over the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the future.

Rostin Behnam, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), spoke at a joint meeting of the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council and the South Dakota Corn Growers Association. The meeting took place Tuesday morning at the Raven Precision Agricultural Center at South Dakota State University.

Behnam talked about new legislation that could give the CFTC the power to regulate digital products like cryptocurrencies. The Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act of 2022 was introduced last week by U.S. Senators John Thune, R-South Dakota, Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, John Boozman, R-Arkansas, and Cory Booker, D-New Jersey.

The legislation aims to give the CFTC some authority over cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, to make transactions more transparent and provide federal oversight of the market, as well as to protect against fraud and abusive business practices.

“I would say it’s an important thing, it’s a necessary thing, but it’s also a change for the agency,” Behnam said.

He added that there has been some pushback against the CFTC potentially regulating cryptocurrency markets, but Behnam believes the agency is capable of overseeing this trade.

“We need to focus on what we do and what expertise we have, and that’s commodity markets, and just use the tools we have and make some changes,” he said. “Life changes, technology evolves and we are ready for it. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Behnam’s agency works primarily with derivatives markets.

Derivative markets deal in financial contracts whose value comes from the value of assets being bought or sold, such as currencies, stocks, bonds, commodities, etc. A commodity is a raw material or an agricultural product, such as coffee, corn or coal.

The CFTC oversees these types of markets, promotes competitive markets, and protects investors from fraud, manipulation, and abusive business practices.

Behnam also referred to rising prices in commodity markets due to inflation.

“Natural gas and fuel prices are obviously quite high, and we’re seeing a decline in those commodity prices over the last two months, but still quite high, and again, correlated to a number of things.” , did he declare.

He attributed the high prices to the impacts of COVID-19, statewide supply shortages and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Behnam said the CFTC is working to ensure local farmers benefit from derivatives markets.

“I think collectively as a group, and certainly me as chairman, we have a lot of focus on the agricultural markets, on the energy markets, making sure the markets work well for you,” he said. -he declares.

Behnam was named CFTC Chairman by President Joe Biden and took office on January 21, 2021.

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