Сryptocurrencies are one of the most challenging asset classes for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), according to a statement by Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo. He also warned potential investors about the risks associated with cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
The chairman of the CFTC highly commended his Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) counterparts for raising awareness and encouraging market participants and investors to be wary and "recognize [their] risks and legal responsibilities” in the crypto space.
Giancarlo further says:
"I have said consistently that virtual currencies are unlike any commodity that the CFTC has dealt with in the past, and I know they pose challenges for the SEC as well.”
Giancarlo confirmed that both agencies are in regular communication regarding both digital currencies and ICOs, highlighting the degree of inter-agency cooperation within the US regulatory environment. He further clarified that his agency cannot directly regulate cryptocurrencies.
The Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission have even established the Joint CFTC-SEC Advisory Committee on Emerging Regulatory Issues to develop recommendations on new and ongoing issues relating to both agencies. The establishment of the Joint Committee was one of the 20 recommendations included in the agencies' harmonization report issued in 2009.
Current cryptocurrency regulation in the US
In his most recent statement, Giancarlo further declares:
“The relatively nascent underlying cash markets and exchanges for Bitcoin remain largely unregulated markets over which the CFTC has limited statutory authority.”
In his statement this week, the Chairman of the SEC said that ICOs may potentially be a positive tool, but must be regulated to keep investors safe -- a task his agency has vowed take on in full force.