CFTC

State and Federal Regulators Coordinate Efforts to Combat Crypto Fraud

This past week was a busy one for state securities regulators, the CFTC and the SEC as they continue their focus on rooting out fraud from the digital currency space and crypto- and blockchain-based ventures.  Noteworthy developments included (1) the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) announcing a “cryptosweep” –…

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SEC Sues Longfin Over Trades Following Acquisition of Cryptocurrency Company

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week sued Longfin Corp., a financial technology company that recently entered the cryptocurrency space, as well as Longfin’s CEO and three others affiliated with the company.  The complaint, filed in federal court in Manhattan, was unsealed on April 6, 2018, when the SEC…

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SEC and CFTC Enforcement Directors Issue Joint Statement Regarding Virtual Currency Enforcement Actions

On January 19, 2018, SEC Co-Enforcement Directors Stephanie Avakian and Steven Peikin and CFTC Enforcement Director James McDonald issued the following joint statement regarding virtual currency enforcement actions: “When market participants engage in fraud under the guise of offering digital instruments – whether characterized as virtual currencies, coins, tokens, or…

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The Future of Bitcoin is Here (Literally): Crypto Derivatives Have Gone Mainstream!

Major derivatives market operators CBOE Holdings and CME Group have jumped into the digital currency fray within the last two weeks by launching cash-settled bitcoin futures contracts (1).  The exchanges recently cleared de facto regulatory hurdles when the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced the completion of the exchanges’ “self-certification”…

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CFTC Reaffirms Stance on Digital Currencies; Expresses View on DLT and ICOs

Pursuant to its LabCFTC initiative, the regulator issued a FinTech Primer on virtual currencies, including addressing the jurisdictional reach of the CFTC and the SEC (and potential overlap). Several questions remain regarding the already uncertain status of ICOs under the federal securities and commodities laws and regulations. WHAT HAPPENED? On…

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CFTC and the Bitcoin Give and Take

Recently, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) granted LedgerX, LLC, registration as a derivatives clearing organization (“DCO”) under the Commodity Exchange Act, and with it, the right to clear fully collateralized digital currency swaps, subject to applicable law.  It became the “first federally regulated Bitcoin options exchange and clearinghouse to list…

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CFTC Fines Bitfinex For Failing To Register and Operating An Illegal Exchange

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), showing continued regulatory interest in digital currency companies, issued an Order and settled charges against Hong Kong-based digital currency exchange Bitfinex. The CFTC found that Bitfinex was offering illegal off-exchange financed retail commodity transactions in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and failed to register…

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CFTC Commissioner advocates minimal regulation of blockchain technology, letting private sector lead

On March 29, 2016, J. Christopher Giancarlo, the Commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC, spoke at the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation 2016 Blockchain Symposium. His speech encouraged regulators to treat the development of blockchain technology like they treated the internet by adopting a “do no harm”…

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CFTC Takes First Action Against Virtual Currency Options Trading Platform

On Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued an Order against San Francisco-based Coinflip and its chief executive officer, Francisco Riordan, to resolve allegations that Coinflip conducted activity related to commodity options transactions without complying with the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC Regulations. Specifically, the CFTC…

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