The CFTC’s proposed minimum capital requirements for SDs and MSPs have met with criticism from industry on a variety of points. These include the use of initial margin, reliance on notional amounts, effect on smaller SDs, inconsistency with the SEC’s proposed capital rule, duplicative reviews for internal capital models, and reporting requirements.
Concerned that virtual currencies and related products “may be attracting customers that do not fully understand their nature, the substantial risk of loss that could arise from trading them and the limitations of NFA’s oversight role,” the National Futures Association (“NFA”) is implementing new disclosure requirements for NFA Members engaging in virtual currency activities with customers.
The CFTC's Division of Market Oversight and Division of Clearing and Risk recently issued an advisory providing guidance to exchanges and clearinghouses regarding virtual currency derivatives to be listed or cleared. Entities already listing or clearing virtual currency derivatives, as well as those considering doing so, should be aware of the compliance and enforcement implications stemming from the advisory.
On November 22, 2017, the Division of Enforcement (“Division”) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) released its annual enforcement results, announcing that it had filed 49 enforcement actions for Fiscal Year 2017. Despite the unexpected decrease to the CFTC’s budget, the agency’s enforcement program is on pace to markedly improve upon the number of filings made during Fiscal Year 2017. Since announcing the results, the Division has filed 29 actions thus far in Fiscal Year 2018.
On March 6, 2018, in a decision on the CFTC’s motion for a preliminary injunction and the pro se defendant’s motion to dismiss, United States District Court Judge Jack Weinstein in the Eastern District of New York ruled that virtual currencies are “commodities” as that term is used in the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC Regulations. Moreover, the court confirmed that a provision added to the CEA by the Dodd Frank Act, and regulations promulgated thereafter, provide the CFTC with jurisdiction over fraudulent transactions in the cash market for virtual currency even if the activity does not involve a futures or swap trade.
If you are a Commodity Pool Operator (“CPO”) or Commodity Trading Advisor (“CTA”) and you have not made strides to put an effective Information Systems Security Program (“ISSP”) in place, doing so should be blinking red on your dashboard.
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