Virtual Currencies Present Significant Risk and Opportunity, Demanding Focus From Regulators, According to CFTC Chair

The meteoric rise of the value of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin demands a special focus from regulators, CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo stated in recent remarks to the ABA Derivatives and Futures Section Conference in Naples, Florida. The Chairman noted that virtual currencies represent both significant risk and opportunity for investors, discussed the role of the CFTC and other regulators in overseeing virtual currencies and outlined the CFTC staff review checklist of virtual currency futures markets. In addition, Giancarlo examined the importance of mutual cross-border regulatory deference, using the E.U.’s and CFTC’s approach to margin rules to illustrate the benefits of global regulatory cooperation. This article summarizes the portions of the speech most relevant to fund managers. For more from Giancarlo, see “New CFTC Chair Outlines Enforcement Priorities and Approaches to FinTech, Cybersecurity and Swaps Reform” (Nov. 9, 2017).

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