“After Show” Thoughts from My Coindesk TV Segment re: CFTC Chair’s Testimony About FTX at Senate Hearing

Today, I did a segment on Coindesk TV’s morning show, First Mover, with hosts Christine Lee and Lawrence Lewitinn. We discussed the CFTC Chairman’s testimony at the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on the FTX demise and need for amendments to CFTC’s regulatory authority to increase its ability to regular crypto asset spot trading of digital asset commodities like bitcoin and ethereum.

FTX, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency trading platforms, filed for bankruptcy earlier this month after a series of reports about its shoddy finances triggered a run on its books. FTX also lost billions of dollars in customer deposits on risky bets made by Alameda Research, an investment firm run by FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.


Summary of CFTC Chairman Benham’s Remarks:

  • noted that in the absence of stringent and uniform standards, the digital asset market rapidly expanded

  • we need to move quickly on a thoughtful regulatory approach to establish guardrails in these fast-growing markets of evolving risk, or they will remain an unsafe venture for customers and could present a growing risk to the broader financial system.

  • CFTC lacks the necessary and direct authority to write rules and to oversee this marketplace.

  • CTFC is more reactive than proactive due to constraints in the enabling legislation that created its regulatory authority. Instead, it can only reach the crypto market (or commodities market, more broadly) through more limited authority activated when fraud or manipulation has already occurred. By then, it’s already too late.

  • In the absence of direct regulatory and surveillance authority in an underlying cash market, CFTC enforcement activity begins with a referral or whistleblower tip from an external source.

  • Despite this limitation, the CFTC has brought more than 60 enforcement cases in the digital asset space since 2014, with total penalties of just over $820 million. In fiscal year 2022, more than 20% of our 82 enforcement actions involved digital assets.FN3CFTC asks Congress for Comprehensive regulation to protect customers on the front end by stopping fraud before it occurs.

  • He supports the Stabenow/Boozeman bill August 2022: Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act (DCCPA) to amend the Commodity Exchange Act to provide the Commodity Futures Trading Commission jurisdiction to oversee the spot digital commodity market

  • Under the DCCPA, FTX would not have occurred. Main failures would have fallen within the core protections under this proposed law.Consumer protection is paramount, as well as consumer education of operating safely, legally and confidently in the new digital asset economy.Comes for VPNs, as well. What’s the impact on financial and information privacy?

Finally, Chair Behnam recommended that any legislative amendment strike the right balance to provide sufficient authority and guidance but not hamstring the agency from being able to shift and adjust and evolve with the market. The House Financial Services Committee Chaired by Maxine Waters will hold its own hearing on Dec. 13th, titled “Investigating the Collapse of FTX”.

Watch the hearing and download Chair Behnam’s prepared remarks here.


Book Professor Evans for Your Event or Training @ Gravity Speakers

Prof. Evans Joins One Million Strong on the Mall at Obama’s Inauguration

(c) 2013 TME
(c) 2013 TME

My family and I had the great honor and privilege to attend the 57th Inaugural ceremony festivities last weekend in DC in honor of our 44th president, Barack H. Obama. Even better, our “Blue Tickets” allowed for an actual seat! Having a seat made waking up at 3:45 AM and hitting the metro at 5:00 AM when it was about 34 degrees worth every minute.

And of course, President Obama’s speech will go down in history as being not only a plan for the future but a recognition of the now. Kudos POTUS!

[Review the full Inaugural speech here]

If you’ve never spent time at the Capitol, the White House or the Congressional offices in DC, then you absolutely must put these “to dos” on your American citizen bucket list.

(c) 2013 TME
(c) 2013 TME

There is something so wonderful, special and significant about visiting the place where our national policy and laws are created. Regardless of your political persuasion, we can all benefit from experiencing the capital of this great nation and becoming more informed about the political process.

Yes. I. Did!

Victory … for now. Congress drops scheduled SOPA & PIPA votes!!


A Message from FightForTheFuture.org:

Hi everyone!

A big hurrah to you!!!!! We’ve won for now — SOPA and PIPA were dropped by Congress today — the votes we’ve been scrambling to mobilize against have been cancelled.

The largest online protest in history has fundamentally changed the game.  You were heard.

On January 18th, 13 million of us took the time to tell Congress to protect free speech rights on the internet. Hundreds of millions, maybe a billion, people all around the world saw what we did on Wednesday.  See the amazing numbers here and tell everyone what you did.

This was unprecedented. Your activism may have changed the way people fight for the public interest and basic rights forever.

The MPAA (the lobby for big movie studios which created these terrible bills) was shocked and seemingly humbled.  “‘This was a whole new different game all of a sudden,’ MPAA Chairman and former Senator Chris Dodd told the New York Times. ‘[PIPA and SOPA were] considered by many to be a slam dunk.’”

“’This is altogether a new effect,’ Mr. Dodd said, comparing the online movement to the Arab Spring. He could not remember seeing ‘an effort that was moving with this degree of support change this dramatically’ in the last four decades, he added.”

About Fight for the Future

Fight for the Future is a non-profit helping to organize the historic strike against the web censorship bills SOPA and PIPA on our site sopastrike.com – go there for a list of websites that are striking and more information.