Nearly Half of CFTC Cases in 2023 Targeted Crypto

Vignesh Karunanidhi
Nearly Half of CFTC Cases in 2023 Targeted Crypto

Cryptocurrency and digital assets represented a major enforcement focus for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in its most recent fiscal year. According to the CFTC’s annual report, nearly half of all its enforcement actions in 2023 were cases related to the crypto sector.

Out of 96 total cases, the CFTC brought 47 crypto and digital asset-related actions over the past year. High-profile enforcement included charges against FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky, and major exchange Binance.

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“The Commission continues to remain laser-focused on stopping and deterring fraud and manipulation in the U.S.,” said CFTC Chair Rostin Behnam, applauding the agency’s “groundbreaking work in the digital asset space.”

CFTC ramped up crypto oversight

The ramped-up crypto oversight aligns with proposed legislation in Congress aimed at shoring up the CFTC’s authority around digital assets. A House bill led by Republicans would close regulatory gaps between the CFTC and SEC.

Recently, the commission has zeroed in on decentralized finance protocols. In September, it charged Opyn, ZeroEx, and Deridex with offering illegal derivative trading. All three settled for monetary penalties.

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The agency also won a landmark case establishing that decentralized autonomous organizations like Ooki DAO can be liable for violations. Some argued only individuals, not DAOs collectively, should face accountability.

Nonetheless, the flurry of crypto cases makes it clear that the commission is aggressively policing digital asset markets under its jurisdiction.