Durbin Questions CFTC Chairman at Agriculture Committee Hearing on Digital Assets

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), today, in a Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee hearing, questioned the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Rostin Behnam about financial market stability given the extreme volatility of the crypto market.

“My concern is this: I’m glad we’re talking about regulation. We have to have it. But I worry we are doing enough to salve our conscience, but not doing enough to put up guardrails and stop signs on the crypto express,” Durbin said. 

Mr. Behnam agreed that cryptocurrency is disrupting financial markets. He said that while being deliberate and cautious, the CFTC must engage and instill regulatory principles.

Durbin responded, “If you’re serious about regulation of an industry where one in five Americans has invested… and we’re now getting into retirement accounts… there’s a lot more exposure and a lot more risk than just a year or two ago.”

Durbin has raised concerns about cryptocurrency and the dangers it poses to personal finances and retirement. Durbin, along with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Tina Smith (D-MN), previously requested answers from Fidelity Investments on their decision to allow 401(k) plan sponsors to offer plan participants exposure to Bitcoin, a highly volatile and unregulated digital asset. Fidelity is one of the largest 401(k) providers with around 40 million individual investors and around $11.3 trillion in assets under administration. 

Video of Durbin’s remarks from the hearing is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks from the hearing is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks from the hearing is available here for TV Stations.