Crypto wrap: CFTC pressed to explain SBF links, UK promises regulation

CFTC chief Rostin Behnam asked for further details on contact with FTX, as UK Treasury says July regulation likely.

Our pick of the week’s crypto stories.

Senators request info from CFTC on SBF meetings

Senators have asked CFTC chief Rostin Behnam for further details after he reportedly had “a lot of contact” with disgraced former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

“Safeguarding the savings and retirements of Americans requires Congress and market regulators like the CFTC to determine how this multi-billion-dollar crime was allowed to happen,” a letter penned by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Charle E Grassley said.

After the FTX collapse in November 2022, Chair Behnam testified before the Senate Agriculture Committee and was asked to account for repeated meetings and text conversations with SBF and his team.

The senators have asked for a full account of all meetings, phone calls, and correspondence and a timeline of the CFTC’s knowledge of the fraud committed by SBF, FTX, and Alameda.

UK crypto regs

Speaking at the annual Innovate Finance Global Summit (IFGS), Bim Afolami, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said the UK government had a proposal for the regulation of stablecoins and crypto staking in the works.

“Once it goes live, a whole host of crypto asset activities, including operating an exchange, taking custody of customers’ assets and other things, will come within the regulatory perimeter for the first time,” he said.

The legislation will reportedly come into force by July. The government pledged last year to make the UK a ‘cryptohub’.

From April 26, UK authorities have the right to seize the assets directly from the exchanges and custodian wallet providers. The regulatory norms of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 will be amended first and, after the proceedings, it will be established by UK authorities.

This helps in extending the power of the National Crime Agency to impound and seize crypto assets without any further excessive legal procedures. Whenever the company is suspected of being connected to some illicit suspicious activities, the authorities have the right to take any legal action directly.

Compliance chief joins Binance board

Binance today announced the appointment to the board of Martin C Grant, former Chief Compliance & Ethics Officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

He has three decades of experience working as the NY Fed’s Chief Compliance & Ethics Officer, where he developed and managed programs related to anti money laundering, sanctions enforcement, risk assessment, data privacy, third-party due diligence, records management, trading compliance, ethics, and conduct. 

“Martin is a world-class legal and ethical compliance executive with unparalleled experience instituting best practices in compliance, conduct, and governance at the highest levels of government and financial services,” said Norman Reed, Interim CEO of Binance.US.

“The addition of a director of Martin’s caliber to the Binance.US Board reflects the strength of our business and demonstrates our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of compliance and integrity. We look forward to benefiting from his expertise and counsel as we continue to navigate the current regulatory environment and position Binance.US for long-term growth and success.”