The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) and the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) require that any person who offers a trading system or platform in which multiple market participants have the ability to execute or trade swaps on the system or platform apply to the CFTC to register as a SEF or be classified as a designated contract market. The CEA also requires that any clearinghouse that seeks to provide clearing services with respect to futures contracts, options on futures contracts, or swaps must register with the CFTC as a DCO before it can begin providing such services. The CFTC has previously found in a settled enforcement action that virtual currencies such as bitcoin are “commodities” under the CEA, and therefore, options on virtual currencies are commodity options which, since Dodd-Frank, are regulated as swaps that, if transacted on a facility for the trading of swaps, may only be traded on a CFTC-regulated SEF or designated contract market.4
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