Public Statements & Remarks

Statement of Commissioner Caroline D. Pham Regarding Complaint Charging Swaps Manipulation and Fraud on a Decentralized Digital Asset Exchange

January 10, 2023

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commissioner Caroline D. Pham released the following statement regarding yesterday’s civil enforcement action filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York charging Avraham Eisenberg with a fraudulent and manipulative scheme to unlawfully obtain over $110 million in digital assets (including bitcoin, ether, and Tether) from a purported decentralized digital asset exchange.

“Since May 2022, I have highlighted the CFTC’s leading role in bringing digital assets within the regulatory perimeter so that important protections for customers and market participants apply.  And I have said that many products that are offered on digital asset exchanges, including products involving trading stablecoins, may be some type of derivative within the CFTC’s jurisdiction.  This complaint makes clear that ‘perpetual futures’ can constitute swaps.  A swap is a swap, even by any other name.  I commend the relentless efforts of the Division of Enforcement staff to use the CFTC’s broad Dodd-Frank authority to aggressively pursue fraud and manipulation.  Although some things—like technology—change, some things stay the same—like the CFTC’s mandate to protect the public and market integrity against wrongdoing.”