The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC, has released its fiscal year 2023 (FY2023) budget request asking for $365 million. This is 9.9% more than the previous year and 20% more than in FY 2021. The Commission regulates the derivatives market in the country and in recent years has been increasingly controlling financial products that include cryptocurrencies.
According to the agency’s request document, CTFC focuses on the risks of storing digital assets, ensuring safe custody, as well as accounting. The agency has its own staff of certified professionals due to the lack of digital asset accounting guidelines from industry regulators. In addition, the agency ensures that derivatives clearing houses “use strict segregation of duties processes and procedures to protect against theft of collateral from [их] employees” and has extensive plans to step up educational activities.
The request was more modest than Commissioner Rostin Behnam had expected. In February, he told the Senate Agriculture Committee that his agency needed an additional $100 million and more authority to regulate Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), cryptocurrencies that the government treats as commodities.
The CFTC is now heavily dependent on whistleblowers for its enforcement activities. Behnam told an audience of the Futures Industry Association this month that the agency has received more than 600 tips since October, of which “a large number are about cryptocurrency scams such as pump and dump schemes, refusals to comply with withdrawal requests, and romance scams. On March 18, the agency announced a $10 million reward for whistleblowers.
It is likely that the agency will receive more powers in the field of digital assets. Senators Cynthia Lummis and Kristen Gilfliebrand have indicated that their cryptocurrency regulation bill, when presented, will include an important role for the CFTC, and a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report commented on the agency’s limited powers.
The president’s fiscal year 2023 budget, announced on Monday, provides for $11 billion in revenue over the next decade by modernizing digital asset regulations.