Comparing the recent cryptocurrency problem to a football game with no rules, U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville said it’s time for the government to regulate that market.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Rostin Benham told a Senate panel Thursday he did not have the ability to stop the issues with the Bahamas-based cryptocurrency firm FTX.
The company founded by Sam Bankman-Fried declared bankruptcy last month and is now being investigated for fraud.
During a recent appearance on Newsmax, Tuberville addressed the situation.
“Well, when you don’t have rules and regulations, you’ve got problems,” Tuberville said, “and crypto has been around for a while and Washington, D.C., has [dragged] their feet on the rules and regulations. I’m not big on expanding the government, but we have to have rules.
“It’d be like having a football game and not having an rules.”
The senator thinks Bankman-Fried and others took advantage of people who didn’t completely understand how cryptocurrency works.
“These young people took advantage of not having rules and now there’s billions of dollars floating around somewhere and it’s lost,” he said. “You can probably say nine out of ten people and probably nine out of ten investors that were with FTX didn’t have a clue what crypto was because it’s hard to understand.”
Tuberville sits on the Senate Agriculture Committee which is holding hearings on the cryptocurrency issue.
“People want to know ag-committee, why are we having this hearing today with Rostin Benham who is the Chairman of the Commodities Futures Exchange,” he said. “Well, we’re in charge of commodities, the ag-committee is, so we’ll have the chairman in today. We’re going to ask him why this happened, why he thinks this happened, what are we going to do in the future.
“We’ve got to protect the American people and that’s the reason we’re having the hearing today, it should be very interesting.”
The lawmaker said it’s possible the FTX founder didn’t even know he was breaking the rules.
“He skirted the rules and that’s what you do when you really don’t know there’s a rulebook out there,” he said. “That’s the reason that we’ve got to get rules to this where we can move crypto back into our country because we want to be the leader of innovation when it comes to financial dealing across the world and right now we’ve dropped the ball.”
Tuberville pointed out how there are bills already worked out that could be passed if Democrats would support them.
“We’ve got two good bills out there that have good rules and regulations that we can put into place,” he said. “But for some reason, the Democrats have [dragged] their feet. They haven’t brought it to the floor and there might be a reason for that.”