December 13th, 2018
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) wants to know more about other cryptocurrencies apart from Bitcoin, starting with Ethereum. The Commission has issued an official Request for Input (RFI) on the matter.
Request for Input: Ethereum
In a press release published on Tuesday (December 11, 2018), the Commission expressed its desire to become better informed about cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin. According to the press release, the CFTC wants to know more about Ether tokens and the Ethereum network.
A portion of the press release reads:
All comments must be received within 60 days of publication in the Federal Register. The RFI also seeks to understand similarities and distinctions between Ether and Bitcoin, as well as Ether-specific opportunities, challenges, and risks.
As part of the RFI, the CFTC will release questions aimed at understanding the use cases, mechanics, opportunities, risks, as well as, the underlying technology of Ethereum. The Commission also said that the information gathered will be of benefit to the CFTC’s fintech arm – LabCFTC. Members of the public will have 60 days to respond to the RFI.
ETH Futures on the Horizon?
The RFI lists a total of 25 questions about both Ether and Ethereum. The questions fall under different categories such as custody, governance, technology, etc. Across the various categories, the CFTC appears interested in knowing the similarities and differences between Ethereum and Bitcoin.
Under the “Markets, Oversight, and Regulation” section, the bulk of the questions (17 to 21) covered matters relating to Ether futures. The CFTC appears interested in knowing how the emergence of ETH derivatives would affect the network’s proof-of-work (PoW) consensus model, as well as the risks involved in trading ETH futures.
While this is conjecture, the question could signify that the Commission is looking at approving ETH futures. For the most of 2018, rumors about possible Ether futures have made the rounds within the industry. These rumors became even more intense when the SEC singled out BTC and ETH as not being securities.
‘Do No Harm’ Approach
The RFI is in keeping with the CFTC’s approach to the cryptocurrency industry. Commission Chair – J. Christopher Giancarlo has in the past, expressed positive sentiments towards virtual currencies. Back in September, the CFTC even called for a ‘do no harm’ approach to regulating cryptocurrencies.
While being tolerant, the CFTC hasn’t shied away from prosecuting cases of fraud or malpractice in the market. Recently, the Commission declared its commitment to patrolling the cryptocurrency scene.
What do you think about the CFTC’s drive to expand its understanding of the emerging cryptocurrency landscape? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.