Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

U.S. Plans to Cut Funding for Bitcoin Futures Watchdog

  • CFTC’s Giancarlo takes spending bill ‘incredibly personally’
  • Agency to get 12 percent less than $281.5 million requested

As Bitcoin surges in popularity, global regulators have increasingly sounded alarms that crypto investments are susceptible to fraud, theft or even worse.

U.S. lawmakers seem less concerned, as they are about to cut the funding of an agency that just took on the responsibility of policing Bitcoin futures.

As part of a deal struck Wednesday to fund the federal government through September, Congress has agreed to trim the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s annual budget by $1 million to $249 million. While the decrease is minor on paper, it comes as the CFTC seeks to assert itself as a top cryptocurrency regulator. CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo took it as a personal affront, as last year he requested the the agency’s funding be increased by 13 percent.

J. Christopher Giancarlo.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

“We are absolutely astounded by the decrease in the CFTC’s budget,” CFTC Spokeswoman Erica Elliott Richardson said in an email. “Chairman Giancarlo takes this budget decrease incredibly personally, and is currently meeting with our finance team to figure out a path forward for the agency.”

Read More: Spending Bill Unveiled in Congress as Shutdown Deadline Looms

The CFTC, which as the U.S.’s main swaps regulator saw its oversight expand massively following the 2008 financial crisis, has struggled for years to get more money from Congress. Meanwhile, the budget deal would give the Securities and Exchange Commission a budget of $1.7 billion, about 3 percent more than the agency requested.

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.