CFTC Announces Examination Priorities and Includes Cryptocurrency Surveillance Practices


The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced the 2019 Examination priorities for registrants of different divisions at the agency. The intention is to bring additional transparency into the CFTC agenda and ensure registered market participants are compliant with the regulations. This is the first time that the agency publishes Examination Priorities for its divisions.

According to a press release uploaded by the U.S. CFTC on February 12, the new Examination Priorities will include cryptocurrency surveillance practices. This will be in charge of the DMO’s Compliance Branch that conducts examinations of designated contract markets. The division monitors that these participants are compliant with the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations.

The priorities include:

  • Cryptocurrency surveillance practices;
  • Surveillance for disruptive trading;
  • Trade surveillance practices;
  • Block trade surveillance practices;
  • Market surveillance practices,
  • Real-time market monitoring practices;
  • Practices around market maker and trading incentive programs

The main intention behind it is to improve the relationship between the CFTC and the participants in the market. At the same time, this initiative will be promoting a more compliant market.

CFC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo commented about this:

“This first-ever publication of division examination priorities is in line with Project KISS and other agency initiatives to improve the relationship between the agency and the entities it regulates while promoting a culture of compliance at our registrants.”

Virtual currencies have been growing during the last few years and regulatory agencies need to develop a better regulatory framework for companies operating in the market. The CFTC wants to have better control over virtual currencies. This is something that can also be seen at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that is taking enforcement actions against several market participants.

At the same time, the DMO Compliance Branch will also be focusing on regulatory consultations with a number of swaps execution facility with the intention to provide effective oversight.

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