The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is seeking to gain a better understanding of Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency ether and how its use within the Ethereum [ETH] network.
In a recent press release published December 11th, the commission is requesting the public to offer information on a range of questions that touch on the Ethereum network.
Grouped into several categories, the commission is releasing a Request for Information (RFI) from the public that touches on Ethereum’s underlying technology, opportunities, risks, mechanics, use cases, and markets, related to Ether and the Ethereum Network. The RFI document has been sent to the Federal Register for registration and as soon as it’s listed, the public will have 60 days to offer feedback on the 25 questions submitted.
The commission is keen to understand first the differences between ether and other cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. It then seeks to understand the risks inherent in the use of ether, the opportunities as well as the challenges affecting the Ethereum network.
In addition, the RFI delves into the issues that the Ethereum community is discussing at the moment such as the transition of the Ethereum network from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake consensus mechanism, Ethereum’s scalability challenges (and the impending code upgrades that are meant to solve these issues), how the community is handling governance of the blockchain and cybersecurity measures taken to protect the blockchain.
The purpose of the RFI is to help the commission understand and regulate the derivatives markets that allow investors to trade Ethereum and ether derivative tokens. The commission seeks to ensure integrity in the markets while at the same time helping the US government in monitoring and reducing any systemic risk by increasing legal certainty within the market.
The comments and information received will be expected to “benefit LabCFTC, the CFTC’s FinTech initiative.” The LabCFTC initiative is the commission’s in-house department dedicated to facilitating market-enhancing financial technology (FinTech) innovation, informing policy, and ensuring the agency has the regulatory and technological tools and understanding to keep pace with changing markets.