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Among all the U.S. regulators interested in regulating Bitcoin and virtual currencies, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is determined to be at the forefront. Since the announcement by CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad in late 2014 that Bitcoin derivatives should fall within the scope of the CFTC’s jurisdiction, the CFTC has been aggressive in addressing not only wrongful conduct involving Bitcoin derivatives, but also wrongful conduct involving certain spot Bitcoin transactions. The CFTC’s actions are a clarion call for market participants to understand the broad breadth of the CFTC’s jurisdiction, and to take notice of the requirements that may apply both to derivatives and to certain physical transactions involving Bitcoin and other virtual currencies.

 

*This article was first published by the Harvard Business Law Review (HBLR) and is featured on HBLR's main page. Click here to read the article online.

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