Category Archives: CFTC

Can a Cryptocurrency Self-Regulatory Organization Work? Assessing Its Promise and Likely Challenges

By | June 21, 2018

The U.S. regulatory framework for cryptocurrency (including federal securities compliance,[1] spot exchange registration,[2] and new derivative product listings[3]) continues to slowly evolve as government agencies increase their familiarity with the technology and dissect its associated risks.[4]  Nevertheless, despite recent guidance statements issued by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC); the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC);… Read More »

SEC Stands Firm Against New Bitcoin ETF Proposals

By | January 12, 2018

The New Year has seen the Securities and Exchange Commission break out its best Dikembe Mutombo finger wag impersonation for those seeking to list a Bitcoin related exchange traded fund (ETF). According to the SEC’s EDGAR database, seven different Bitcoin ETF proposals were withdrawn just this week at the request of SEC staff. The SEC’s… Read More »

Regulating Initial Coin Offerings: The SEC Gets All the Attention, But the CFTC Has the Stronger Case

By | January 10, 2018

The rise of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to finance the development of blockchain applications has captured the public imagination.[1] This method of obtaining startup capital raised over $3 Billion in 2017.[2] Naturally, as ICOs have generated more and more money for developers, they have come under increased regulatory scrutiny in the United States and abroad.[3]… Read More »

For Bitcoin Futures, the CFTC Defends the Indefensible

By | January 4, 2018

In a previous blog post, I criticized the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s decision to allow the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) to self-certify Bitcoin futures contract. Self-certification allows designated contract markets (DCMs)[1] to list new futures contracts one day after submitting documentation to the CFTC that demonstrates the new… Read More »

New CFTC Primer Casts Uncertainty on Unregulated Utility Token Market. Is This An Application of Goodhart’s Law?

By | November 13, 2017

On July 25th, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), citing the long established “Howey Test”[1] and other cases,[2] determined that a public offering of digital tokens known as “the DAO” was in fact an offering of securities that was subject to federal law. While this ruling temporarily quelled an otherwise raging initial coin offering (ICO)… Read More »