By Commodity Futures Trading Commission Bitcoin web page….
On December 15, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) launched a virtual currency resource web page, cftc.gov/bitcoin. This dedicated page is a central repository for Commission-produced resources about virtual currency, and is designed to educate and inform the public about these commodities, including the possible risks associated with investing or speculating in virtual currencies or recently launched Bitcoin futures and options.
The newly launched Bitcoin web page provides quick access to the CFTC’s virtual currency primer; CFTCTalks podcast episode featuring CFTC staff discussing virtual currencies; LabCFTC, the Commission’s FinTech effort; and a fact sheet explaining the CFTC’s role in oversight of virtual currencies.
Additionally, the CFTC today released a Customer Advisory, titled “Understand the Risks of Virtual Currency Trading”. This advisory details the risks of purchasing Bitcoin virtual currencies in the cash market, in addition to those risks present in virtual currency futures and options.
The CFTC’s Jurisdiction and Virtual Currencies
Bitcoin and other virtual currencies have been determined to be commodities under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA). The Commission primarily regulates commodity derivatives contracts that are based on underlying commodities. While its regulatory oversight authority over commodity cash markets is limited, the CFTC maintains general anti-fraud and manipulation enforcement authority over virtual currency cash markets as a commodity in interstate commerce.
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About the CFTC
The mission of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is to foster open, transparent, competitive, and financially sound markets. By working to avoid systemic risk, the Commission aims to protect market users and their funds, consumers, and the public from fraud, manipulation, and abusive practices related to derivatives and other products that are subject to the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).
To promote market integrity, the CFTC polices the derivatives markets for various abuses. It also seeks to lower the risk of the futures and swaps markets to the economy and the public.
The agency oversees a variety of individuals and organizations. These include swap execution facilities, derivatives clearing organizations, designated contract markets, swap data repositories, swap dealers, futures commission merchants, commodity pool operators, and other entities.