The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) hosted a public meeting of its Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) on Thursday, February 14. Financial Services special counsel Gary DeWaal, a member of the TAC, attended the discussion of the scope, plan, and approach for the Committee's efforts in 2018. The meeting examined the use of financial technology in CFTC regulated markets, including blockchain, virtual currencies and related futures products, machine learning and artificial intelligence, automated trading, and cybersecurity.

Gary also served as a panelist during the "Market and Regulatory Developments with Virtual Currencies and Related Futures Products" session. He provided a historical insight into the history of commodity options in the United States in the 1970s and analogized the regulatory challenges around this product then with how regulators struggle with the regulation of crypto assets today. He discussed the need to rationalize the oversight of crypto assets and market intermediators that is currently divided potentially among multiple state agencies, as well as the SEC, CFTC and FinCEN. He noted that efforts to divorce discussions around decentralized distributed ledger technology and crypto assets are wrong, as crypto assets are either the reward and/or fees that administrators received to maintain the integrity of the decentralized systems.("CFTC's Technology Advisory Committee Announces Agenda for February 14 Public Meeting," February 12, 2018)