US Derivatives Regulator Launches LabCFTC to Enhance Fintech Engagement

A team of dedicated CFTC staff will provide direct support to fintech innovators.

Against the backdrop of a fast-evolving financial technology landscape, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has embarked on a journey to become a smart regulator.

The top US derivatives regulator today launched a New York-based fintech initiative, known as ‘LabCFTC’, which is aimed at helping technology firms navigate regulations, thus making it easier to align CFTC rules with today’s new technologies.

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A team of dedicated CFTC staff will provide direct support to the innovator community. Help will also be available to ensure that firms understand the regulatory framework and its application, while the hub will also identify areas that are in need of adaptation to facilitate innovation.

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The new facility will serve as a thinktank, focusing on new technologies rather than on business models. Furthermore, the LabCFTC will assist the regulator in the creation of new regulations by providing it with knowledge of today’s digital landscape.

The CFTC explained in its statement that the LabCFTC consists broadly of two stages: the first is a dedicated point of contact for fintech innovators, known as GuidePoint, to allow them to engage with the CFTC, learn about the regulatory framework and obtain feedback on the implementation of innovative technology for the market. The second component is called CFTC 2.0 and it will instead work with later-stage companies to test their ideas within the CFTC’s activities.

Christopher Giancarlo, the CFTC’s acting chairman, commented :“Simply put, LabCFTC is intended to help us bridge the gap from where we are today to where we need to be: 21st century regulation for today’s digital markets. The purpose of LabCFTC is twofold: The first is to provide greater regulatory certainly that encourages market-enhancing FinTech innovation to improve the quality, resiliency, and competitiveness of our markets. The second is to identify and utilize emerging technologies that can enable the CFTC to carry out its mission more effectively and efficiently in the new digital world.”


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