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US CFTC includes cryptocurrencies in 2019 examination priorities

Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/NLJ

Thu, 14 Feb 2019, 09:13 am UTC

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has, for the first time, announced Examination Priorities for its divisions for 2019.

In an official announcement dated February 12, the CFTC listed the examination priorities for registrants of the Division of Market Oversight (DMO), Division of Swap Dealer & Intermediary Oversight (DSIO), and Division of Clearing & Risk (DCR).

“This first-ever publication of division examination priorities is in line with Project KISS and other agency initiatives to improve the relationship between the agency and the entities it regulates, while promoting a culture of compliance at our registrants,” said CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo.

According to the press release, DMO’s Compliance Branch’s examination priorities for this year include cryptocurrency surveillance practices, real-time market monitoring practices and others. DMO currently conducts examinations of designated contract markets (DCMs) to monitor their compliance with the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations through Rule Enforcement Reviews (RERs).

In a bid to promote responsible fintech innovation, the CFTC launched LabCFTC in 2017. LabCFTC released a primer on virtual currencies in October 2017 and a primer on smart contracts last November to explain smart contract technology and related risks and challenges.

In its 2019 examination priorities, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) has also placed emphasis on digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, coins, and tokens.

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