US regulators to discuss Bitcoin futures trading

US regulators to discuss Bitcoin futures trading
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The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said Thursday that it will meet on Jan. 31 to discuss the trading of cryptocurrency futures contracts.

The agency says that its technology and risk advisory committees will meet to discuss the self-certification process for such derivative contracts, focusing on “oversight, surveillance, and monitoring” of listed cryptocurrency derivatives.

“With the rapid development of financial technology products — including cryptocurrencies — and the corresponding demand for new and novel price discovery and risk management tools, the CFTC is poised to utilize its authority and expertise to ensure that the markets we oversee innovate responsibly within an appropriate oversight framework,” said CFTC Commissioner Rostin Behnam.

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Regulators and financial institutions have been wary of cryptocurrency futures, in part because of the price volatility of many cryptocurrencies.

The meeting comes after two exchanges launched bitcoin futures in December.

Cryptocurrencies have caught regulators attention in recent months following their meteoric rise over the past year. The value of major digital currencies like bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple have increased by thousands of percent over the past year.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the North American Securities Administrators Association have both issued warnings about the potential dangers of investing in cryptocurrency.

The CFTC is currently the regulatory authority of cryptocurrencies in the U.S. and treats them as  commodities.

The SEC has begun to regulate portions of the cryptocurrency market, but focuses primarily on what it believes are unregistered securities masquerading as cryptocurrencies.