The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairmen have said that their respective agencies must become more literate in blockchain technology and digital assets according to the testimony in front of the Senate subcommittee media on 8 May 2019.

Two US financial regulators’ chairmen testified before Congress with the main purpose of the hearings before the Senate Committee on Appropriations to inform the Senate on budgetary requirements of the agencies. Moreover, various initiatives and objectives were also outlined during the hearings.

According to Jay Clayton (SEC Chairman), all digital assets, consisting of coins, cryptocurrencies and tokens, have been named as high-risk investments by the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations at the SEC.

The addition of four new positions in the Division of Trading and Markets has been requested by the SEC in order to enhance their expertise in the field of blockchain technology. Major securities market participants are regulated by the Division of Trading and Markets according to the testimony.

On the other hand, CFTC Chairman J Christopher Giancarlo, maintained that he has always stressed the importance of gathering knowledge about digital assets. He recalled that he listed “the disintermediation of traditional actors and business models, the extraordinary pace of exponential technological change and the need for technological literacy and big data capability” as key sectors which are challenging for regulators at the moment.

CFTC is working hard to become a “quantitative regulator”, added Giancarlo. The main goal is to adapt to this rapidly changing environment. He said that independent market data analysis across different data sources, along with decentralized blockchains and networks, must be conducted by CFTC without relying on market intermediaries and self-regulatory organizations.

Moreover, the CFTC chairman stated that commission’s budget proposal will help in expanding core economic expertise of the agency, which in turn will aid in conducting “in-depth analytical and empirical studies” in the sectors that require attention.


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