- Thomson Reuters
- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the regulatory agency overseeing bitcoin futures, says employees can trade crypto.
- Not everybody thinks this is a good idea.
That’s according to a Bloomberg News report penned by Robert Schmidt, who wrote employees of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) “can trade digital tokens as long as they don’t buy them on margin or have inside information gleaned from their jobs.”
Employees, however, are not permitted to trade bitcoin futures contracts on the markets operated by Cboe Global Markets or CME Group.
Daniel Davis, the general counsel of the CFTC, told employees in a memo earlier this month that the agency decided on the ruling after an influx of “inquiries.”
CFTC head J. Christopher Giancarlo became a darling of the cryptocurrency community after he delivered remarks to the US Senate alongside Securities and Exchange Commission head Jay Clayton that many interpreted as pro-bitcoin. In the days that followed his address, so-called crypto-Twitter blew up with memes honoring the regulator.
The reaction to the news that employees of his agency can trade crypto has been less positive. Angela Walch, a professor at St. Mary’s University School of Law who focuses on crypto, told Bloomberg the news is “mind-boggling.”
“It could absolutely skew their regulatory decisions.”
Peter Dugas, a managing principal at Capco’s Center for Regulatory Intelligence, doesn’t see a problem, however.
“There is little difference between allowing CFTC staff to trade cryptocurrency compared to allow staff to use any other financil product the agency regulates,” Dugas said.
“As long as senior officials disclose their financial holdings, as traditionally required under federal ethics laws, and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has the ability to investigate any irregularities, cryptocurrency should be treated no differently from other financial products the CFTC oversees,” Dugas added.
The SEC, according to Bloomberg, allows its employees to trade crypto.