Recent Virtual Currency Actions by the CFTC and State Regulators: CFTC Staff Issues Advisory for Exchanges and Clearinghouses Listing Virtual Currency Derivatives and Announces Agreement for Information Sharing with State Securities Regulators amid “Operation Cryptosweep”

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - May 29, 2018
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On May 21, 2018, the staff of two divisions of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission published a staff advisory that provides guidance for CFTC-registered exchanges and clearinghouses that list or clear virtual currency derivatives. The CFTC staff noted that the following key areas require particular attention by entities that list, trade and clear virtual currency derivatives: (1) enhanced market surveillance, (2) close coordination with CFTC staff, (3) large trader reporting, (4) outreach to a broad range of stakeholders prior to listing, (5) Derivatives Clearing Organization risk management and governance and (6) the possibility of a staff notice to exchanges identifying concerns regarding new products. On the same date, the CFTC announced, in a joint press release with the North American Securities Administrators Association, that it had signed an agreement to establish a closer working relationship between the CFTC and individual state securities agencies in enforcing the Commodity Exchange Act. This announcement coincided with the NASAA’s announcement of a coordinated international crackdown on Initial Coin Offerings and virtual currency-related investment products, dubbed “Operation Cryptosweep.”