The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission is taking regulatory action against three decentralized finance protocols for allegedly failing to register various derivatives trading offerings.
The U.S. commodities regulator announced that it issued orders against protocol Opyn, ZeroEx and Deridex in a Sept. 8 statement.
Deridex and Opyn were charged for failing to register as a swap execution facility or designated contract market and failing to register as a futures commission merchant. The two protocols also failed to comply with customer provisions set out in the Bank Secrecy Act, the CFTC said.
All three firms were also charged with illegally offering leveraged and margined retail commodity transactions in digital assets.
The CFTC’s orders oblige Opyn, ZeroEx and Deridex to pay penalties of $250,000, $200,000, and $100,000, respectively, and to cease and desist from violating the Commodity Exchange Act and the CFTC’s regulations. The companies have agreed to settle the charges.
Ian McGinley, the CFTC’s director of enforcement, said DeFi platforms need to take better initiative to act within the confines of the law:
“Somewhere along the way, DeFi operators got the idea that unlawful transactions become lawful when facilitated by smart contracts [...] they do not,” McGinley said, adding:
“The DeFi space may be novel, complex, and evolving, but the Division of Enforcement will continue to evolve with it and aggressively pursue those who operate unregistered platforms that allow U.S. persons to trade digital asset derivatives.”
Not everyone was pleased with the CFTC’s orders.
Bankless co-host Ryan Sean Adams labeled the CFTC’s enforcement action as another attack on DeFi.
Opyn, ZeroEx, and Deridex all hit by the CFTC.— RYAN SΞAN ADAMS - rsa.eth (@RyanSAdams) September 7, 2023
Another attack on DeFi by US regulators.
They really are trying to make America lose the crypto opportunity. pic.twitter.com/AwRCsG0Uyw
Opyn is a DeFi investment strategy platform that currently has $23 million in total volume locked (TVL) on its protocol, while ZeroEx is an Ethereum-based decentralized exchange.
Deridex was an Algorand-powered derivatives platform. However, the project abruptly shut down in February, causing its TVL to fall from about $150,000 to $133 as of Sept. 8, according to DefiLlama.