Release Number 8154-20

April 21, 2020

LabCFTC Launches “Project Streetlamp” Science Prize Competition

Seeking to Enhance Enforcement Capabilities, CFTC Launches Inaugural Competition Under the Science Prize Competition Act

— The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced its inaugural competition under the Science Prize Competition Act of 2015, called Project Streetlamp. Under the Science Prize Competition Act, the CFTC may sponsor contests in order to stimulate innovation that can advance the CFTC’s goals. 

Administered by LabCFTC, Project Streetlamp challenges innovators to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies to identify unregistered foreign entities potentially engaging in illegal activity subject to the CFTC’s jurisdiction. Presently, these entities are catalogued in the CFTC’s Registration Deficient (RED) List, a tool launched in 2015 to alert customers to foreign entities that appear to be illegally soliciting and accepting funds from U.S. customers to trade binary options, foreign currency (forex), or other products without CFTC registration. The RED List helps customers make more informed decisions about whether to trade with or through such an entity. 

The RED List is operated through the joint efforts of the Division of Enforcement and the Office of Customer Education and Outreach. Specifically, LabCFTC’s Project Streetlamp encourages innovators to explore how AI or other technological tools can automate the process of identifying these unregistered foreign entities to add them to the RED List.

“Innovation and technology aren’t just relevant to developing new products or trading strategies in the market – they are integral to our efforts to enhance the Commission’s own efficiency and technology,” said CFTC Chairman Heath P. Tarbert. “To stay ahead of the curve, we need forward-thinking approaches like the tools that may arise from LabCFTC’s Project Streetlamp, especially as they enhance our ability to keep consumers informed and ultimately, protecting their investment funds. I congratulate LabCFTC Director Melissa Netram and her team for their work on this groundbreaking and innovative endeavor.”

Project Streetlamp provides another unique opportunity for the CFTC and innovators to come together for the public good,” said LabCFTC Director Melissa Netram. “At LabCFTC, we are continually working to find ways to enhance and support responsible financial innovation. Now, more than ever, we must look to the role innovators play to help government agencies, like ours, fulfill our mission of protecting investors. We are proud of this inaugural competition and look forward to reviewing innovative submissions that do just that.”

“Promoting the integrity of our derivatives markets is at the heart of the CFTC’s mission,” said CFTC Director of Enforcement James McDonald. “We must stay ahead of the curve to inform the public of those entities that are not registered with the CFTC. Adding a level of technology to improve our process to develop the RED List illustrates the sort of forward thinking that is occurring across the Commission.”

Information on how to participate in the CFTC’s Project Streetlamp competition is available at

About LabCFTC

In service to the CFTC’s goal of encouraging innovation and enhancing the regulatory experience for market participants at home and abroad, LabCFTC’s mission is to promote responsible innovation among financial industry, stakeholders, and policymakers by:  

More information can be found at