CFTC Cracks Down on Operations of 3 DeFi Protocols


According to recent news reports, three decentralized finance protocols have been targeted for enforcement action by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for neglecting to register a variety of derivatives trading offers.

CFTC Takes Action Against Opyn, ZeroEx, and Deridex

In a statement by the agency on September 8, the US commodities body declared that it placed orders regarding the protocols Opyn, ZeroEx, and Deridex. Additionally, all three companies were accused of providing unauthorized leveraged and margined retail commodities transactions in digital assets. Deridex and Opyn were accused of failing to establish themselves as a designated contract market and a derivatives commission trader. 

Substantial Fines Imposed

As per the CFTC’s orders, Opyn, ZeroEx, and Deridex are required to pay fines of $250,000, $200,000, and $100,000, each, in order to stop violating the rules laid down by the CFTC and the Commodity Exchange Act. 

The CFTC’s director of enforcement, Ian McGinley stated: “Somewhere along the way, DeFi operators got the idea that unlawful transactions become lawful when facilitated by smart contracts […] they do not,” while adding:

“The DeFi space may be novel, complex, and evolving, but the Division of Enforcement will continue to evolve with it and aggressively pursue those who operate unregistered platforms that allow U.S. persons to trade digital asset derivatives.”

Another Attack on DeFi by CFTC

However, not many people agreed with the agency’s findings. Ryan Sean Adams, a co-host of Bankless, described the CFTC’s legal action as yet “another attack on DeFi.”

Multiple Recent Actions

Notably, the regulatory agency drew attention in August when it filed a case against residents of Florida, Louisiana, and Arkansas over allegedly fraudulent cryptocurrency trading.

Four people were at the center of the CFTC’s complaint, which was brought in the US District Court for the Middle District of Florida. The charge accused the people in question of engaging in deceptive business practices to draw customers for their suspected trading in cryptocurrencies and valuable metals. A notorious Tennessee couple was also charged by the CFTC for operating a similar fake cryptocurrency operation. 

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