US CFTC Includes Cryptocurrency Monitoring in 2019 Task List
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The US Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has included cryptocurrency surveillance among its goals for 2019, according to one of its recent reports, which adds that the Division of Market Oversight (DMO) has been tasked with several activities related to market operations.
The CFTC is known as one of the crypto-friendly regulators although it retains a skeptical stance on the practices in the sector.
- “I commend DMO, DSIO and DCR leadership and staff for their work to bring additional transparency into the CFTC agenda in order to ensure that registered market participants devote adequate compliance resources consistent with our regulatory priorities. This first-ever publication of division examination priorities is in line with Project KISS and other agency initiatives to improve the relationship between the agency and the entities it regulates while promoting a culture of compliance at our registrants,” CFTC chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo said.
The CFTC is now tasked with exploring the launch of the Bakkt Bitcoin futures exchange with physical delivery. In a relatively young sector, issues of technological safety, delivery, and security are yet to be clarified.
The activities of regulators are not to be seen as verdicts on the value or promise of digital assets but as readiness to explore the potential for trading in a compliant manner. In the US, oversight bodies have improved their understanding of digital assets, sparking hopes that there may be a common approach and a standard to create a regulated market. Along with the CFTC, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is dealing with the issues of securities laws as applied to digital assets.
For now, institutional investors remain wary, not only about the potential of trade manipulation but also ownership, storage, and custody. While regulated in the area of money handling services, exchanges rarely have oversight on trading or the way they store funds to avoid losses.