December 20, 2018
by Elizabeth Lan Davis

On December 11, 2018, the CFTC issued its Request for Input on Crypto-Asset Mechanics and Markets (“RFI”) seeking public comment and feedback on the “technology, mechanics, and markets for virtual currencies beyond Bitcoin, namely Ether and its use on the Ethereum Network.”  The RFI was made in furtherance of the CFTC’s LabCFTC initiative and seeks information to “better inform the Commission and its operating divisions as the market evolves and potentially seeks to list new virtual currency-based futures and derivatives products.”  

The RFI solicits general input from the public related to Ether and the Ethereum Network, and enumerates 25 specific questions covering purpose and functionality; technology; governance; markets, oversight and regulation; and cyber security and custody.  The questions cover topics ranging from scalability challenges and potential solutions, whether a proof of stake consensus mechanism has particular features that make it prone to manipulation, and factors that could impact the CFTC’s ability to oversee or monitor trading in derivative contracts on Ether and the underlying Ether cash markets.  Comments may be submitted online, by mail or by hand delivery to the CFTC, and must be received on or before February 15, 2019.

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