CFTC enhances crypto oversight with new technology innovation arm (Cryptocurrency:BTC-USD)

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Rostin Behnam, chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), said Monday that the agency is boosting its oversight of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC-USD) and Ethereum (ETH-USD) with the launch of the Office of Technology Innovation (“OTI”).

The increased crypto supervision comes as “we are past the incubator stage, and digital assets and decentralized financial technologies have outgrown their sandboxes,” Behnam said in a prepared speech during a Brookings Institution event.

The OTI, which will be staffed by a director as well as a fintech policy and technology specialist, is a new version of the current fintech-focused LabCFTC team with an “upgraded operating model,” said Behnam, one of the most prominent crypto regulators in the U.S.

Another change the CFTC is making involves the “realignment of the Office of Customer Education and Outreach within the Office of Public Affairs,” which will ultimately help educate the public about risks surrounding cryptos, as well as protecting them from crypto-related scams.

“In the absence of new legislative authority, we at the CFTC continue to look at how we can work to protect markets and investors within the bounds of our existing authority,” Behnam emphasized.

In February, Behnam requested Congress for more crypto oversight.