© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Representatives of cryptocurrencies are seen in this illustration, Aug. 10, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
By Luc Cohen
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A top U.S. regulator said on Tuesday that there is no way to police all crypto scams because there are so many, even though her agency are investigating several major cases.
Christy Goldsmith Romero, one of five Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioners, said that crypto lawsuits make up about 20% of the agency’s portfolio, including lawsuits Recent civil lawsuits against exchanges Binance and FTX.
“There is a lot of fraud in the space,” Goldsmith Romero said at a white-collar crime conference at the New York City Bar Association. “There’s no way we can police all the fraud, but we have to do something.”
CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam has sought greater authority from lawmakers for the body to oversee the spot cryptocurrency market.
Goldsmith Romero dismissed the idea that there is a “war” between the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission over crypto regulation, but acknowledged that many of the industry’s products are new and the facilities Quan is “still trying to figure it out.”
She also said crypto companies should not view the CFTC as a potentially friendlier regulator than the more money-rich SEC.
“I don’t like the idea that the CFTC is somehow a light touch,” said Goldsmith Romero. “‘Light Touch Modulator’ will never be written on my gravestone.”
In March, the CFTC sued Binance and Changpeng Zhao, its founder and CEO, for allegedly running a fake compliance program.
Zhao called the complaint “an incomplete retelling of the truth.”
The CFTC lawsuit against the now-bankrupt FTX alleges the exchange and founder Sam Bankman-Fried caused the loss of more than $8 billion in customer deposits.
Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to related criminal charges from the US Department of Justice.