U.S. lawmakers have set a hearing to examine the potential can of worms opened by cryptocurrency exchange FTX when it applied with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to directly clear its customers’ margin-backed swaps trades.
The House Committee on Agriculture – the congressional panel overseeing the CFTC – will host the hearing May 12 to talk about the proposal from FTX.US Derivatives and how it may signal “new clearinghouse models” with its ideas for trading and clearing without the customary intermediaries. The committee hasn’t yet announced witnesses for the 10 a.m. hearing.
The hearing will be quickly followed on May 25 by a public roundtable held by the CFTC, in which industry participants, academics and others will be invited by the agency to weigh in.
CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam told House lawmakers in March that the agency considered FTX’s application the first of many.
“There will be more in the future,” he said, adding that the novel idea is a logical outcome of the new technology to “break down some of these silos and have more direct access.” Behnam said he hadn’t decided whether to support it, but he noted the proposal “could end up leading to more efficient trading execution, less risk in the system.”
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