CFTC Division of Market Oversight Director Testifies on Digital Assets

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Director of the Division of Market Oversight, Vincent McGonagle, testified at a House Agriculture Subcommittee hearing on the current state of digital asset regulation. The hearing covered issues like oversight of derivatives markets, disclosure, initial coin offerings, protection of retail investors, blockchain technology, and futures-based crypto products, among other issues. In his written testimony, McGonagle stated “digital assets have been broadly determined by the CFTC and federal courts to be commodities under the CEA” and that authority includes “broad regulatory oversight over any futures, options, and swaps listed by designated contract markets.” He added that there continues to be speculation in the spot market for cryptocurrencies and further disclosure would be helpful for investors. The Subcommittee’s Chairman, Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), noted “Congressional direction to establish the rules of the road to ensure American retail investors are informed and protected is as important as ever.” The Agriculture Committees in the House and Senate oversee the CFTC which regulates financial markets alongside the SEC, including products in the digital asset space.