On August 23, 2021, CFTC Commissioner Dawn Stump released a helpful primer on the CFTC’s regulatory authority over digital assets. The statement emphasizes that the CFTC does not typically regulate the spot market for cash commodities (including digital assets), and instead focuses on oversight of derivatives. But, Commissioner Stump cautioned that the CFTC does retain antifraud authority over the spot markets. Tracing through the CFTC’s authority (and that of other sister regulators) in ten steps, the statement concludes that “with respect to a digital asset, ask not whether a digital asset is a commodity or security—ask whether a futures contract or other derivative product is involved.”
Commissioner Stump’s complete statement is available here.