Release Number 7717-18

April 24, 2018

CFTC Asks Innovators for Competition Ideas to Advance Fintech Solutions

LabCFTC looking to “crowdsource” ideas for using the Science Prize Competition Act

Washington, DC — LabCFTC, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) fintech initiative, announced today that it is requesting public input to gather ideas and topics for innovation competitions to advance the agency’s fintech goals. All comments must be received within 90 days of publication of the request in the Federal Register.  

“We launched the LabCFTC initiative to stimulate and promote market-enhancing fintech solutions,” said CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo. “By soliciting feedback from innovators on how the CFTC can best encourage innovation and leverage fintech and RegTech solutions for the marketplace, we are not only fulfilling the mission of this initiative, we are moving the CFTC closer to my ultimate goal of making the agency a 21st Century regulator.” 

“Innovation competitions and our effort to crowdsource priority RegTech topics are exciting regulatory tools that can unleash creativity, ingenuity, and new technologies that can solve challenges that benefit the American public,” said LabCFTC Director Daniel Gorfine. “Our ultimate goal is to focus the energy of America’s innovators on ways to improve our agency and our markets so that we can keep pace with a rapidly digitizing world.”

The Request for Input (RFI), to be published in the Federal Register, is LabCFTC’s effort to gather feedback on how innovation competitions can stimulate innovation and make the CFTC more effective and efficient in satisfying its mission to foster open, transparent, competitive, and financially sound markets.  

The CFTC is soliciting public feedback on: (1) focus areas for potential innovation competitions, as well as (2) how competitions could best be structured and administered to maximize their impact. While the RFI raises the possibility of competitions focused on data visualization tools, machine-readable regulatory rulebooks, and “smart” notice and comment systems, it seeks to crowdsource what may be the most promising topics directly from the innovator community.

Under the Science Prize Competition Act (2015), the CFTC may hold a competition and award prizes, such as non-monetary prizes and prizes in partnership with external organizations, in order to stimulate innovation designed to advance the goals of LabCFTC. More information on innovation competitions may be found at

About LabCFTC

Launched in May 2017, 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 can be found at LabCFTC.