CFTC Hints at Future Digital Asset Regulatory Framework

The U.S. commodities regulator has a four-year plan for fostering responsible innovations in the crypto asset space.

Jul 9, 2020 at 3:34 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:28 a.m. UTC

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which regulates the U.S. bitcoin and ether derivatives markets, plans to develop a digital asset innovation blueprint by 2024.

  • “We will develop a holistic framework to promote responsible innovation in digital assets,” the swaps regulator teased in its 2020-2024 Strategic Plan, released Wednesday.
  • This “holistic framework” will help keep the CFTC apace with the “risks and opportunities” of these so-called “21st century commodities,” the regulator said, though it was unclear at press time how far the document will ultimately go.
  • Chairman Heath Tarbert called for “principles-based regulation” of blockchain and digital assets in a June essay published by the Harvard Business Law Review, writing there that “overly prescriptive rules could stunt the development of this important market.”
  • On a related front, CFTC announced Thursday it will host three fintech-focused virtual events this fall, including one talk on the future of finance and another on how regulators respond to financial innovation.
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