Cryptocurrency exchanges launch self-regulatory body
A group of cryptocurrency exchanges and custodians have officially launched a self-regulatory body to help bring greater legitimacy and transparency to the industry.
The Virtual Commodities Association (VCA) is backed by members including the Winklevoss twins’ Gemini exchange, and rivals Bitstamp, Bitflyer USA and Bittrex. First proposed in March this year, the self-regulatory organisation (SRO) went live on Monday.
Maria Filipakis, formerly executive director with New York’s Department of Financial Services, was appointed as the VCA’s first executive director. She comes to the role with much experience, having drafted cryptocurrency regulations called ‘BitLicense’ in her former role.
She said in a statement: “I applaud the VCA and its members in their commitment to strengthen the digital asset industry’s regulatory landscape, rules for the protection of customers, and bring forth industry setting best practices and market transparency.”
It is hoped by members that the VCA’s efforts to bring greater transparency and a cleaner image to cryptocurrency markets will help improve relationships between official financial regulators and the digital asset industry.
John Roth, chief compliance officer at Bittrex, said: “The VCA will complement our discussions with regulators and legislators about developing a long-term solution that creates a fully-compliant environment for blockchain while encouraging innovation, economic growth, and US leadership in the industry.”
Responding on behalf of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the official regulator that has oversight of the cryptocurrency sector, commissioner Brian Quintenz said: “Ultimately, an independent and empowered SRO-like entity could have a meaningful impact on the integrity and credibility of this young marketplace. Today’s announcement is a positive step towards that realisation.”