Agriculture and crypto don’t seem like they have a lot in common, but the Senate Agriculture Committee’s hearing on crypto assets triggered strong reactions from crypto stakeholders across the board. While it’s hard to define whether the hearing bodes ill or not for investors, a Ripple official has shared their take on the proceedings.
Don’t be “Agri” about crypto
Ripple’s Head of Public Policy, Susan Friedman, called the hearing “productive” and “positive,” as she expressed a wish to see more such discussions in the future. According to Friedman, some major topics of debate included the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s potential role in regulating the crypto sector, as well as the need for America to not lose out to its crypto rivals.
The Ripple exec noted,
“Today’s hearing in Senate Ag was a clear indication that both sides of the aisle are interested in #crypto & looking to collaborate on fostering innovation and protecting consumers…”
Friedman then added,
“If history is any indication – giving the CFTC a larger remit would go a long way in bringing clear rules of the road to crypto.”
Crowding out the SEC?
Why would a Ripple official want to see the CFTC become a more active regulator in the crypto industry? For starters, this could be a way to shake the SEC’s dominance in the space.
It’s important to note here that the CFTC and the SEC haven’t always seen eye to eye. While SEC Chair Gary Gensler has often favored “Wild West” imagery to describe the crypto sector in America, former CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz has called this the “language of persuasion and manipulation.”
During the hearing, CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam requested more power and financial resources so the agency could carry out its work. If granted, this could come with huge implications for the SEC’s own regulatory reach.
However, with the XRP lawsuit stretching into 2022, it appears that the SEC wields more influence over Ripple’s legal status than any other American regulator.
Time to end this rodeo
FTX co-founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried also delivered his testimony before the U.S Senate Committee. The exec suggested that Congress could organize the CFTC and the SEC to regulate different parts of the crypto sector, such as spot transactions, exchanges, and stablecoins. About expanding the CFTC’s role, Bankman-Fried said,
“Historically, the CFTC generally has not exercised jurisdiction over the operation of spot markets for commodities (with few exceptions), but FTX believes the CFTC could assert jurisdiction over digital-asset spot markets under certain circumstances…”