Tassat Gains CFTC 'No-Action' Relief Ahead of Eventual Bitcoin Swaps Contract Listing

Tassat blamed COVID-19 and leadership changes for its long-delayed bitcoin derivatives contract listing.

AccessTimeIconSep 15, 2020 at 8:32 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:56 a.m. UTC
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Tassat Derivatives plans to list a bitcoin swaps contract in late 2020 despite a bevy of delays that caused the firm's Swaps Execution Facility (SEF) registration to fall dormant.

  • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Tuesday pledged not to punish Tassat if it premieres its contract before regaining SEF registration by granting the firm no-action relief.
  • Tassat, which seeks to list a physically deliverable bitcoin swaps contract, had been working under the SEF registration it acquired last November from now-defunct swaps exchange trueEX.
  • But the CFTC deemed Tassat's registration dormant on Aug. 1. for failing to execute any swaps over 12 consecutive months (trueEX's last trade was in July 2019), forcing Tassat to petition for relief.
  • Tassat blamed the swaps listing delay on: leadership changes at the CFTC, an executive exodus at Tassat (former CEO Thomas Kim departed in March), COVID-19 onboarding troubles and other pandemic-related pains.
  • "Tassat states, despite the delays, it has not stopped working on, and preparing for, the launch of its bitcoin swap contract," the CFTC said in the letter granting no-action relief.
  • The Tuesday order will effectively allow Tassat to list its swaps contract prior to CFTC's final ruling on a yet-to-be-filed reinstatement request, according to a Tassat spokesperson, who said the procedure can take up to six months.
  • Tassat is aiming for a contract debut in Q4, the spokesperson said.

Update: 15:01 UTC 9/16/20: This article has been updated to better illustrate the regulatory procedures at play and the nature of the no-action relief.

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