Skadden Discusses CFTC Regulatory Issues for Cryptocurrencies

Digital or virtual currencies based on cryptography (commonly referred to as ‘‘cryptocurrencies’’) have picked up steam, with a surge in trading and dramatic increase in market value over the past year, and have attracted interest from mainstream finance and regulators alike. The former Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission) made clear in 2014 that derivative contracts based on a virtual currency, which fits within the broad statutory definition of ‘‘commodity,’’ are ‘‘within [the CFTC’s] responsibility.’’[1]

Since that announcement in 2014, the CFTC has sought to better understand the cryptocurrency space, along with FinTech innovations

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