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US Commodity Futures Trading Commission FinTech Initiative

On Wednesday Commissioner (and Chairman-designate) Giancarlo of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) gave a speech to the Futures Industry Association in which he identified the embrace of technological change as a key factor in economic growth.  In that speech he announced that the CFTC has been conducting a review of FinTech innovation issues including those arising from a range of new digital technologies. The review is focused on three issues:

  1. How the CFTC should leverage FinTech innovation to make it a more effective regulator;

  2. How CFTC rules and regulations need to be updated to account for FinTech in order for the Commission to be relevant in 21st Century digital markets; and

  3. The proper role of the CFTC in promoting US FinTech innovation in CFTC regulated markets.

This promises to take us well beyond the CFTC’s jurisdiction over bitcoin-based derivatives and swap execution facilities that were at issue in cases such as In re Coinflip, Inc. and In re TeraExchange, LLC.   I would not be surprised if the CFTC’s FinTech report discusses the use of distributed ledger technology to enhance swaps and futures market efficiency and the effectiveness of regulatory oversight.  A link to the CFTC press release on this statement appears here.

Copyright 2020 K & L GatesNational Law Review, Volume VII, Number 80


About this Author

Anthony R.G. Nolan, KL Gates, fixed income securities lawyer, structured finance attorney
Practice Area Leader

Anthony Nolan is a finance partner in the New York office and is a Practice Area Leader for the firm's global Finance practice. Mr. Nolan has a domestic and international practice that emphasizes lending transactions, fixed income securities, structured finance, structured products and derivatives. He often works at the intersection of finance and investment management, including trading and regulation of swaps and security-based swaps, loan trading, securities lending and repo as well as traditional borrowing and leverage transactions.