US regulatory authority issues guidelines for crypto derivatives

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has published new guidelines for stock exchanges and clearing houses for crypto derivatives. This step was expected by the trading industry.

CFTC publishes rules for Bitcoin Revolution

The CFTC advisory committee, led by Amir Zaidi, director of the Division of Market Oversight (DMO), said that exchanges wishing to introduce crypto derivatives must be able to monitor the underlying markets and have a plan for coordination Bitcoin Revolution with government regulators, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“THE EMPLOYEES OF CFTC ARE ANXIOUS TO CREATE AS MUCH CLARITY AS POSSIBLE. AS THE VIRTUAL CURRENCY MARKET CONTINUES TO EVOLVE, CFTC STAFF WILL SEEK TO HELP MARKET PARTICIPANTS KEEP PACE WITH INNOVATION WHILE COMPLYING WITH CFTC REGULATIONS.

Brian Bussey, Director of Divisions of Clearing and Risk (DCR), explained the importance of the new US financial supervision directive.

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“CFTC EMPLOYEES PROVIDE SOME OF THIS INFORMATION TO ASSIST MARKET PARTICIPANTS IN DEVELOPING RISK MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS THAT ADDRESS THE NEW RISKS OF VIRTUAL CURRENCY PRODUCTS. IN ADDITION, THE GUIDELINES ARE INTENDED TO HELP ENSURE THAT MARKET PARTICIPANTS COMPLY WITH APPROPRIATE GOVERNANCE PROCESSES WHEN INTRODUCING THESE PRODUCTS”.

Stricter rules for crypto derivatives
The first Bitcoin futures contracts were issued in December 2017 and triggered the most exciting rally in the crypto currency market, taking Bitcoin to its all-time high of nearly $20,000. Volatility in the digital currency area, concerns about the lack of transparency of some trading platforms and a number of hacking episodes have prompted the Futures Industry Association (FIA) to call for a tough stance on crypto derivatives by the CFTC.

The new guide points out that exchanges and clearing houses must list a new virtual currency derivative contract, better market surveillance, close coordination with CFTC staff, comprehensive trader reporting, contact with members and market participants and risk management of the derivatives clearing organisation (DCO).

Bitcoin as a commodity
The CFTC decided that bitcoin should be considered commodities in 2015 from a regulatory perspective. This classification means that crypto currencies are subject to the supervision of the regulatory authority, which has since taken action against unregistered Bitcoin futures exchanges. In addition, the CFTC has proposed guidelines for the derivatives market and the spot market in the virtual currency context and warned against valuations and volatilities as well as laundry trading and prepared transactions.