Regulatory tools for digital assets highlighted in LabCFTC report

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission released a “Digital Assets Primer” to provide updated information to the public about emerging concepts in digital assets. The primer is part of a series issued by the CFTC’s innovation office, LabCFTC, and is the second to delve into issues surrounding digital assets.

Current rules largely originated before the advent of digital assets. Given their novel features and characteristics, digital assets expose gaps and overlaps in existing regulatory frameworks. Digital assets are global and nature and mechanisms for coordination include formal agreements, inter-agency work groups, staff level initiatives, and multilateral organizations, the primer noted.

“This Digital Asset Primer builds on LabCFTC’s 2017 Primer on Virtual Currencies, which focused on virtual currencies like bitcoin. The focus of this Digital Asset Primer is broader to include not only virtual currency, but also smart contracts and other digitized representations of value or ownership,” said Brian Trackman, LabCFTC senior counsel and lead author of the primer.

Digital assets have a varied set of features and applications that touch a range of regulatory domains, including that of the CFTC. The Digital Asset Primer identifies areas and topics for further consideration, including the governance of digital assets and the appropriate role of regulatory authorities like the CFTC.

LabCFTC director and chief innovation officer Melissa Netram, said in a statement: “This primer acknowledges the ongoing development in this space and highlights the need for regulatory coordination in this evolving market.”

Read the full report

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