Shearman & Sterling LLP | FinReg | US Commodity Futures Trading Commission Consults on Ether and the Potential Introduction of Ether Derivatives Contracts
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  • US Commodity Futures Trading Commission Consults on Ether and the Potential Introduction of Ether Derivatives Contracts
    12/11/2018
    To further its understanding of Ether and its use on the Ethereum Network, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued a request for input on several topics related to the virtual currency. The RFI poses a number of questions on Ether, including, among other things, its functionality, underlying technology, governance, markets, cybersecurity and custody. In addition, the CFTC asks several questions regarding Ether's susceptibility to market manipulation and the potential introduction of Ether derivatives contracts.

    The CFTC stated that the requested feedback will inform the work of the CFTC and its LabCFTC initiative to enhance the agency's oversight of virtual currency markets and develop regulatory policy. The CFTC also noted that it hopes to gain a greater understanding of the similarities and differences between Ether and bitcoin, along with potential risks and opportunities uniquely posed by Ether.

    Questions regarding Ether derivative contracts, along with recent interest by exchanges in such products, suggest that the topic remains squarely on the CFTC's radar. However, as the CFTC continues to gather more information, it may be some time before the CFTC makes a decision on whether or not to approve any Ether-based derivative products.

    Comments in response to the RFI must be submitted on or before February 15, 2019.

    View the CFTC's RFI.

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    TOPICS: DerivativesFinTech