CFTC Says Over 20% of All Its Investigations This Past Year Were Related to Cryptocurrencies or Blockchain

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The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) says 18 of the 82 enforcement actions that it filed in 2022 involved blockchain and digital assets.

In its latest enforcement report, the agency says it filed charges against several entities in the crypto space that committed various violations this year.

These include South Africa-based pool operator Mirror Trading International (MTI), which is embroiled in what the CFTC says is the largest Bitcoin-related fraudulent scheme it’s dealing with.

The regulator also filed charges against crypto futures exchange Digitex Futures, digital exchange and custodian Gemini, decentralized blockchain protocol bZeroX and its successor Ooki DAO, stablecoin issuer Tether and crypto trading platform Bitfinex.

Says CFTC chair Rostin Behnam,

“In the face of unprecedented financial market conditions directly impacting American consumers, emerging technological disruption, and growing retail investor participation, the CFTC continues its unwavering commitment to a robust enforcement program ensuring the markets we oversee are open, transparent, fair and competitive…

This FY 2022 enforcement report shows the CFTC continues to aggressively police new digital commodity asset markets with all of its available tools. I personally thank the Enforcement Division’s hardworking and dedicated leadership team and staff.”

Behnam has said he wants the CFTC to regulate Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) as commodities rather than securities, and that the Commission is still working on designating the rest of the crypto markets. 

“We’re gonna have to figure that out I think legislatively, because this is a new asset class and there are different components and characteristics of this asset class as opposed to traditional asset classes. We have to rely on 70-year-old case law to determine what’s a security what’s a commodity. We have at least one court case in the Eastern District of New York that says Bitcoin is a commodity. There are other cases out there and we’re just trying to figure this out.”

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