The CFTC showed little compassion this year. Several of these CFTC fines were aimed at business operators with cryptocurrencies that failed to comply with current laws.
The Commission for Trade in Commodity Futures of the United States (CFTC) reported that it raised around USD $ 1.3 billion in regulatory fines for this fiscal year, including some companies and business operators with cryptocurrencies which failed to comply with current regulations.
According to a report submitted by the regulatory body, the figure exceeds almost 40% of the amount collected for the previous fiscal year (USD $947 million) in a total of 69 lawsuits filed during 2019. In this regard, the CFTC recognized that these USD $1,300 millions constitute the fourth highest figure collected by the entity throughout its history.
CFTC application director James McDonald said:
“The breadth and importance of the activities for the application of the laws during the fiscal year 2019 reflect that the cases presented were some of the most important assumed by the agency in terms of fraud, handling and counterfeit products.”
Fines to the crypto ecosystem
Although the report does not specify in relation to the amount collected from companies whose operations involved cryptocurrencies, it pointed out fines associated with some important cases between business operators with cryptocurrencies such as that of the BTC Control-Finance trading company, CabbageTech Co, occurred with the director of a company for the custody of digital assets, as well as facts perpetrated by a merchant in Chicago, among others.
In this regard, McDonald commented:
“The CFTC will continue to work to signal scammers, and when appropriate, operate in parallel with organizations responsible for enforcing criminal laws.”
Following the appointment of Heath Tarbet as president of the agency this year, the CFTC filed 48 claims for non-compliance between June 15 and September 30, representing almost 70% of the measures promoted for fiscal year 2019.
Greater regulatory clarity
In October of this year, Tarbet said during an interview that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether were seen by the agency as a commodity, which in Spanish would be equivalent to a product, merchandise or basic commodity.
The statements of the CFTC director offer much more clarity for business operators interested in offering products associated with the aforementioned cryptocurrencies. However, Tarbet said that the perspective with which a certain asset is viewed will depend on its technological properties and its commercial approach.
Recently, the US Congress announced that it will soon sanction a bill that will delegate part of the responsibility to the CFTC when it comes to monitoring cryptocurrency markets, specifically that of derivatives. Said proposal empowers the agency to adopt the necessary rules that guarantee due compliance with current laws.
Finally, Tarbet said in an interview that the CFTC works together with the SEC to address cryptocurrencies despite handling different positions, since the latter is more inclined to consider these assets as values and consequently adopts another series of provisions to avoid illegal acts with these assets.