Release Number 7631-17

October 17, 2017

CFTC’s LabCFTC Releases Primer on Virtual Currencies

First of a Series of Readers to Help Market Participants and Innovators Navigate the Fintech Landscape

Washington, DC — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s LabCFTC today released, “A CFTC Primer on Virtual Currencies.” This primer is the first of a series that LabCFTC will release to provide fundamental, and essential, information about financial technology (fintech) innovation.

“LabCFTC believes that promoting education, understanding, and regulatory clarity around emerging technologies can help facilitate market-enhancing innovation and guard against risks,” said the Director of LabCFTC, Daniel Gorfine, adding, “As people worldwide try to understand and wrap their heads around the virtual currency ecosystem, we thought it timely and important for our first primer to help explain the space, identify how developments involve the CFTC, and highlight risks that investors or users of virtual currencies should carefully consider.”

This first primer provides an overview of virtual currencies and their potential use-cases, helps outline the CFTC’s role and oversight of virtual currencies, and cautions investors and users of the potential risks involved with virtual currencies.

Gorfine, who also serves as CFTC’s Chief Innovation Officer, said, “We look forward to our ongoing engagement with innovators and market participants focused on enhancing our markets and benefitting the American public – we view the release of today’s primer as a meaningful step in advancing that engagement.”

About LabCFTC

Launched in May this year, LabCFTC is dedicated to facilitating market-enhancing financial technology (fintech) innovation, fair market competition, and proactive regulatory excellence and understanding of emerging technologies. LabCFTC is designed to make the CFTC more accessible to fintech innovators, and serves as a platform to inform the Commission's understanding of emerging technologies. LabCFTC will enable the CFTC to be proactive and forward-thinking as fintech applications continue to develop, and to help identify related regulatory opportunities, challenges, and, risks. More information about LabCFTC can be found at















Last Updated: October 20, 2017