CFTC Commissioner urges crypto companies to self-regulate

14 Feb, 2018

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top official for a U.S. financial regulator is urging players in the burgeoning cryptocurrency sector to boost their self-policing.

Brian Quintenz, a Republican commissioner with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said the industry should consider adopting self-regulatory standards and industry-wide best practices while the government mulls its best approach in policing the new technology-driven space.

His comments to reporters came before a CFTC technology advisory panel meets for a daylong meeting in Washington on Wednesday. Market regulators have grappled of late with developments in the rapidly growing cryptocurrency market, as they try to balance encouraging use of new technology like blockchain while ensuring markets remain healthy and fair for investors.

Wednesday’s meeting marks the first by the CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee in two years, as the regulator has begun expanding its footprint in the cryptocurrency space. The CFTC previously allowed two U.S. exchanges to list bitcoin futures contracts, and Quintenz said the CFTC is eager to hear more perspectives.

The committee will bring together government officials and private sector experts, with the agenda promising debates on blockchain, virtual currencies, automated trading and other technological matters.

Quintenz said the regulator is eager to hear outside perspectives as the agency refines its thinking on the matter.

“The role of the advisory committee is to advise us,” he said. “We can have a very candid and open discussion, and let the experts tell us what they think.”

Reporting by Pete Schroeder; Editing by Sandra Maler

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