The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has charged 12 New York-based crypto options businesses with allegedly failing to register with the regulatory body.
In a Thursday press release, the CFTC outlined that it is charging 14 entities in total, with the 12 crypto-focused firms all on the hook for failing to register as futures commission merchants (FCMs). All of the firms were "allegedly based in New York." The other two companies have allegedly posted misleading information about their National Futures Association (NFA) membership and registration with the CFTC.
The listed crypto options providers include relatively unknown names such as Bitfxprofit, Star FX Pro, Smarter Signals and BinanceFx Trade — the latter of which is unaffiliated with the major global exchange Binance despite its name.
“Today’s actions reflect the CFTC’s dedicated efforts to aggressively root out bad actors falsely claiming to hold legitimate registrations and protect the trading public,” said Division of Enforcement Acting Director Vincent McGonagle.
Firms offering exposure to commodities via futures are required to register as an FCM with the CFTC. The commission regulates the scope of derivatives markets, which includes futures contracts, options and swaps, but does not oversee the spot markets for ordinary traders.
The derivatives market regulator has had a busy week after it slammed the enforcement hammer down on Kraken on Tuesday, ordering it to pay $1.25 million worth of civil penalties over allegations of Commodity Exchange Act violations.
On Wednesday, Cointelegraph reported that CFTC commissioner Dan Berkovitz will be joining the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as general counsel following his departure in October. Berkovitz will reportedly work with SEC chair Gary Gensler on a “regulatory agenda that will enhance investor protection.”
Last month, crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX agreed to pay a civil penalty of $100 million to the CFTC and FinCEN for “for illegally operating a cryptocurrency trading platform and anti-money laundering violations.”