The commissioner has said the CFTC’s enforcement actions in the crypto space have been “aggressive,” and hinted that decentralized finance platforms were likely illegal under the Commodity Exchange Act.
Dan Berkovitz, one of three commissioners currently serving at the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission, will be joining the Securities and Exchange Commission as general counsel following his departure in October.
In a Tuesday announcement, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, said Berkovitz would assume the role of general counsel starting on Nov. 1, two weeks after stepping down as a commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC, where he has served since 2018. Berkovitz said he will be working with SEC chair Gary Gensler on a “regulatory agenda that will enhance investor protection.”
Though his term at the CFTC was originally set to end in 2023, Berkovitz announced in September that he was planning to leave on Oct. 15. His departure follows U.S. President Joe Biden tapping Kristin Johnson and Christy Goldsmith Romero to fill the CFTC seats left by former chair Heath Tarbert and Brian Quintenz. The White House has not yet named a possible replacement for Berkovitz.
This month, Berkovitz said the CFTC’s enforcement actions in the crypto space have been “aggressive,” citing a $100 million civil monetary penalty against derivatives exchange BitMEX. The CFTC commissioner has also hinted that decentralized finance platforms were likely illegal under the Commodity Exchange Act, saying there is a “spectrum of centralization” around projects in the DeFi space that could make them subject to registration at the government agency.
Related: CFTC renewed: What Biden’s new agency picks hold for crypto regulation
Berkovitz will be serving the American people while under the leadership of Gary Gensler, who has argued that many crypto projects have created securities that fall under the SEC’s regulatory framework. In August, the SEC chair said he hopes to introduce crypto-related policy changes surrounding token offerings, decentralized finance, stablecoins, custody, exchange-traded funds and lending platforms.