LabCFTC, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s financial technology research division, will be getting an upgrade to a full-blown office.
FinTech New Focus of Government
Financial technology is becoming increasingly important for society, as fewer and fewer businesses rely on cash. Some of the biggest firms in technology are companies like PayPal and Stripe, who help merchants take digital payments.
Financial technology also encompasses blockchain.
The added resources and people that the change in classificiation means will translate to a potential increased scrutiny for blockchain-related projects.
The CFTC is currently one of several government agencies that claims control over Bitcoin and blockchain projects. Likewise, the SEC and the US Treasury both assert control, while law enforcement also takes a piece at every level from the Secret Service to the FBI.
Government Regulation of Crypto Still Not There
In many ways, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are treated with an overwhelming sense of confusion by government agencies.
Nevertheless, the CFTC is moving forward with its plans to study blockchain and other financial technology more closely.
A representative of the agency told CoinDesk:
“I want the agency to be the resource for you to help identify ways those technologies could fit into the current regulatory structure. Now that LabCFTC’s success has been demonstrated, we want to solidify its position within the agency. Now it will take on an even bigger role here at the CFTC and be a critical link to innovators for years, and perhaps decades, to come.”
A former CFTC chief recently released the bombshell news that he and other members of the Trump Administration knowingly approved Bitcoin futures markets with the hopes that it would bring the then-amazing Bitcoin price crashing down.
If the former regulator is to be believed, the strategy worked.
While blockchain and other crypto-related technologies have created a new range of products for agencies like the CFTC to worry about, they may have also created a windfall in monitoring techniques, with a reported 87% of crypto transactions now traceable.