The CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) just announced that they are seeking public comments and feedback to inform better decisions made by the commission regarding the technology, mechanics, and markets for virtual currencies beyond Bitcoin. The primary focus of the commission is to understand the Ether token and its use in the Ethereum network.
The commission filed an official RFI (request for information) to get answers from the public on questions relating to the underlying technology, opportunities, risks, mechanics, use cases, and markets of the Ethereum network. The CFTC is requesting that all comments be received within 60 days of the RFI being published in the Federal Registrar.
The stated purpose of this information sourcing is to benefit Lab-CFTC, CFTC’s Fintech initiative, which is dedicated to facilitating market-enhancing financial technology (Fintech) innovation, informing policy, and ensuring the agency has the regulatory and technological tools and understanding to keep pace with changing markets.
A Step Towards Regulation
This announcement represents an important step on behalf of the US regulators, as they try to advance their understanding of the crypto space beyond Bitcoin, which has been the primary focus of Government for the majority of the crypto markets existence. The increasing efforts to understand the critical differences between Ethereum and Bitcoin should help regulators become better informed about how to determine what kinds of tokens are, securities vs. utilities, as well as understand how the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies can be used to enhance transparency within the government itself.
The full RFI document can be found here. It lists 25 questions posed by the commission, which are organized into categories such as Purpose and Functionality, technology, Markets, Oversight and Regulation, and cybersecurity and custody