The top derivatives regulator in the U.S. has created a new information portal for cryptocurrencies, a move that came just days ahead of a major bitcoin futures launch.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) unveiled its new cryptocurrency resource website, which is aimed at educating the public about these wholly digital commodities. The site features links to a range of CFTC releases, including an October primer from its LabCFTC arm and information about futures launches from firms like Cboe and CME Group.
The agency wrote:
"[Financial] technologies have the potential for significant or even transformational impact on CFTC regulated markets and the agency itself. One of the most recent marketplace developments driving a lot of interest is the rise in prominence of virtual currencies, specifically bitcoin."
The information portal was launched on Friday, the same day the CFTC released its proposed definition for "delivery" in the context of cryptocurrency assets. The agency has since embarked on a 90-day comment period regarding the proposal, soliciting feedback from the public on an issue that had stoked criticism and beguiled regulators working on possible solutions.
The release perhaps represents a kind of normalization for bitcoin at the agency, which moved to classify bitcoin as a kind of commodity in 2015. Indeed, the CFTC's chief remarked earlier this month that, in his view, bitcoin is an unusual kind of commodity by the agency's standards.
"I have said consistently that virtual currencies are unlike any commodity that the CFTC has dealt with in the past, and I know they pose challenges for the SEC as well," he said last week following remarks from the head of the SEC, Jay Clayton.
Disclosure: CME Group is an investor in Digital Currency Group, CoinDesk's parent company.
Bitcoin on keyboard image via Shutterstock