Can a DeFi Smart Contract Be Regulated? Two CFTC Commissioners Discuss - Ep.260

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By Laura Shin. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

CFTC Commissioners Dan Berkovitz and Brian Quintenz discuss the difficulties of regulating crypto derivatives and DeFi. Show highlights:

  • their backgrounds
  • what the CFTC’s duties are regarding crypto
  • how the CFTC’s jurisdiction has evolved over the years
  • why Commissioner Quintenz believes SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce’s safe harbor proposal is “brilliant”
  • what relationship the CFTC and SEC have when making decisions on crypto assets
  • why the commissioners believe CFTC’s complaints regarding BitMEX are “well-founded”
  • why formal regulation for crypto derivatives is unlikely to be produced by the CFTC
  • why leveraged derivatives products are a “concern” to the CFTC
  • what makes regulating DeFi platforms so difficult
  • when it comes to DeFi, who is a natural entity for the CFTC to regulate, if any
  • whether the CFTC would ever go after DeFi "market participants," who the CFTC also regulates
  • why smart contracts involving futures could be illegal
  • how the possibility that smart contracts could be illegal squares with the view that software development is a form of free speech
  • whether the CFTC could prosecute developers who write smart contracts
  • whether the CFTC needs to re-write its laws in light of DeFi innovation
  • why Commissioner Berkovitz thinks the DeFi “winners” will be protocols that focus on meeting regulatory requirements
  • why the CFTC approved Bitcoin futures in 2017 while the SEC has not yet approved a Bitcoin ETF
  • how a Bitcoin ETF could solve Bitcoin’s accounting issue, which currently gives companies no upside for adding BTC to its balance sheet

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Episode Links

People

Dan Berkovitz, CFTC Commissioner (Sep 2018+)

Brian Quintenz, CFTC Commissioner (Aug 2017+)

Related Links

Bitcoin futures approval from CFTC in 2017: https://www.businessinsider.com/bitcoin-price-futures-trading-exchanges-cftc-2017-12

306 episodes