CFTC Issues Derivatives Advisory, North American Securities Regulators Investigate ICO and Crypto Scams, Japanese Bank Plans #Cryptocurrency and Australia Eyes #Blockchain for Welfare Payments

Crypto Corner - May 22, 2018

CFTC Issues Derivatives Advisory, North American Securities Regulators Investigate ICO and Crypto Scams, Japanese Bank Plans Cryptocurrency and Australia Eyes Blockchain for Welfare Payments

An advisory on "virtual currency products" has been released by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) according to a press releasetoday. The advisory was a joint issue from the CFTC's Division of Market Oversight (DMO) and Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR), and "gives exchanges and clearinghouses registered with the CFTC guidance for listing virtual currency derivative products."

DCR Director Brian Bussey stated:

""CFTC staff is providing this information, in part, to aid market participants in their efforts to design risk management programs that address the new risks imposed by virtual currency products. In addition, the guidance is designed to help ensure that market participants follow appropriate governance processes with respect to the launch of these products.""

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) is investigating fraudulent ICOs and cryptocurrency scams in "Operation Crypto Sweep". So far, the operation has yielded "nearly 70 inquiries and investigations and 35 pending or completed enforcement actions related to ICOs or cryptocurrencies since the beginning of May." A statement on the NASAA website reads:

"In April 2018, NASAA organized a task force of its member state and provincial securities regulators to begin a coordinated series of investigations into ICOs and cryptocurrency-related investment products. Regulators identified many cryptocurrency-related products and as part of its work, the task force identified hundreds of ICOs in the final stages of preparation before being launched to the public. These pending ICOs were advertised and listed on ICO aggregation sites to attract investor interest. Many have been examined and some were determined to warrant further investigation. A number of these investigations are ongoing and others resulted in enforcement actions announced today."

Japanese outlet NHK reports that a banking division of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is planning to test its own cryptocurrency. According to the piece, the 'MUFG Coin' could debut by next year and will involve 100,000 MUFG clients who have applied to participation.

According to ZDNet, Australia's Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) is looking to instigate blockchain delivery of welfare payments in the country. The piece quotes DTA's Randall Brugeaud:

""Our plan is to look for use cases across the Commonwealth with an initial focus on the welfare payment delivery system, then working with our digital service standard, we'll conduct user research with a view to having a prototype by the end of next financial year.""

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