CFTC Advisory Committee Considers Crypto Regulation and Blockchain Adoption

Wilfred Michael 

Wilfred Michael

News reporter

28 March 2019,
CFTC Advisory Committee Considers Crypto Regulation and Blockchain Adoption

In a meeting held yesterday, March 27, members of the Technology Advisory Committee of the U.S Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) considered regulations for virtual currencies and the need for the agency to adopt distributed ledger technology.

According to a press release about the meeting, Peter Van Valkenburgh, Director of Research at Coin Center was the first to draw up the issues of regulatory compliance while making his presentation to the Virtual Currency Subcommittee of the advisory group.

His concerns centered on a recent announcement by the Ethereum Foundation that the team would in the future change from its current proof-of-work consensus mechanism to the proof-of-stake standard.

Van pointed out that such a move would raise “important questions for both market participants and regulators” including whether the new mechanism increases the likelihood of a bad actor being able to manipulate or falsify the Ethereum Ledger.

He further explained that it was for these new uncertainties that the CFTC in December 2018 requested public comments so that it could gain more knowledge of how the Ethereum blockchain operates.

Meanwhile, on the issue of broader crypto regulation, Kathryn Trkla and Charley Mills from the innovation arm of the American Bar Association provided insights into a recent publication detailing the current federal and state regulation of virtual currencies and digital assets. That publication also reportedly identified vital policy areas for additional consideration by U.S regulators.

On a final note, the DLT and Market Infrastructure Subcommittee of the CFTC advisory group deliberated on the challenges facing the widespread adoption of the technology in the U.S. Also, the Subcommittee explored specific areas where existing CFTC regulations were restricting the growth of the blockchain industry and areas where further guidance from the body can boost activities.

Undoubtedly, the latest development around the CFTC’s Advisory Committee calls to mind comments made last week by former CFTC Chair, Timothy Massad. The ex-official noted that either the U.S SEC or the CFTC could regulate the crypto industry if given the Congress gave them the mandate to do so.


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