(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said it would keep tabs on Bitcoin futures trading and other markets during a government shutdown, even though it would be forced to halt many other normal activities.
“One component of the agency’s mission is to oversee orderly derivatives markets, and to police those markets to ensure they are free of fraud and manipulation,” the CFTC said in a statement Friday. “In the event of a shutdown, the agency will have ‘excepted’ staff in place who will continue to perform this function across the derivatives markets -- including the virtual currency derivatives market.”
The regulator’s cryptocurrency oversight responsibilities greatly increased last month when the CME Group Inc. and Cboe Global Markets Inc. launched the contracts through a process that allows them to list products after pledging that trading doesn’t run afoul of the law.
The CFTC defines virtual currencies as commodities and has also asserted jurisdiction over underlying cash markets for anti-fraud or anti-manipulation purposes. The CFTC plans to keep about 10 percent of its 675 people on the job to ensure that derivatives markets aren’t being manipulated.
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