The United States Senate Agriculture Committee has announced that Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC, chair Rostin Behnam will be one of the witnesses in a hearing exploring the collapse of crypto exchange FTX.
According to the Senate Agriculture Committee website, on Dec. 1 the full committee will listen to testimony from Behnam and presumably other individuals with information about the liquidity issues and subsequent downfall of FTX. The hearing, titled ‘Why Congress Needs to Act: Lessons Learned from the FTX Collapse’ will be one of the first in which U.S. lawmakers explore what happened with the major crypto exchange and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.
— Senate Ag, Nutrition, & Forestry Committee Dems (@SenateAgDems) November 21, 2022
The U.S. House Financial Services Committee said on Nov. 16 it will be holding a similar hearing “into the collapse of FTX and the broader consequences for the digital asset ecosystem” in December, but the event did not appear in the committee’s calendar at the time of publication. The committee said it expected to hear from Bankman-Fried, Alameda Research, and Binance, but did not specifically mention testimony from federal regulators like those at the Securities and Exchange Commission or CFTC.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in both chambers of Congress as well as the White House have hinted at the need for regulatory clarity or additional regulations in the wake of FTX’s collapse. On Nov. 10, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre suggested that “prudent regulation of cryptocurrencies is indeed needed” in response to crypto firms without proper oversight.
Since filing for bankruptcy and resigning as FTX’s CEO on Nov. 11, Bankman-Fried has become the target of global regulators investigating the exchange, including Turkey’s Financial Crimes Investigation Agency, authorities in the Bahamas, and U.S. state and federal agencies. Reportedly still based in the Bahamas, Bankman-Fried may be extradited to the U.S. for questioning — it’s unclear whether he will be available to speak before either the House or Senate committee hearings.