LedgerX Accuses US CFTC For Foul Play and Claims Unreasonable Delay by Former Chairman


Crypto startups should have gotten used to regulatory drama. LedgerX is the latest one to be facing trouble. The company is accusing former CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo was biased against them.

CFTC had approved LedgerX’s application for a designated contract market (DCM) license, meaning the company can now offer the new futures contracts. LedgerX is the second company to receive approval to offer physically settled bitcoin futures; other firms, such as Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt, Seed CX and ErisX plan to enter this market.

The company alleges that former Chair Giancarlo

“In January [2019], the Chairman called one of our board members and told him that he was going to make sure our DCO order was revoked within two weeks, due to a blog post written by myself the previous year implying that preferential treatment was being given to larger companies so he could ‘cement his legacy.’ This refers to the ICE / Bakkt approval, which was running into issues that were frustrating the chairman.”

Unlike the cash-settled bitcoin futures listed by the Chicago exchanges Cboe and CME, in physically settled futures the buyer receives the underlying commodity when a contract expires, rather than the fiat equivalent. Monday’s approval means that New York-based LedgerX can not only list these bitcoin futures contracts but crucially can offer its products to retail clients, not just institutional ones.

The second letter reads:

“This submission has been with the Commission for well over 180 days without approval or denial. We have strong reason to believe that this unreasonable delay is in clear violation of the Commodity Exchange Act is related to the Chairman’s animus towards a blog post written by our CEO.”

While LedgerX is not the first bitcoin futures provider in the U.S., it is the first to offer physical futures, meaning customers receive the actual bitcoin they bet on when the contracts expire, rather than the cash equivalent. Moreover, customers don’t need to put U.S. dollars in to bet on the product.

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