18.06.2021

CFTC Taps Coinbase Lawyer to Head Division Overseeing Bitcoin Futures

CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert announced in a press release Tuesday that DeWitt, who is also the exchange’s general counsel for business lines and markets, will be the new director of the Division of Market Oversight (DMO), the group responsible for overseeing derivatives platforms and products, including the young market for bitcoin futures.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has just named Coinbase vice president Dorothy DeWitt as its new market supervisor.

DeWitt has also spent time at Citadel Securities, S&P Global and Davis Polk & Wardwell, and has previously been a portfolio manager.

Her new role will see her evaluating and potentially approving new bitcoin derivatives products in the U.S. DMO has examined CME, Cboe and Bakkt’s various bitcoin futures proposals in the past.

She succeeds former DMO director Amir Zaidi, who oversaw the first bitcoin futures contracts as they entered the crypto space in late 2017.

In a statement, Tarbert thanked Zaidi “for his more than nine years of service at the CFTC”, saying:

“DeWitt brings to the CFTC more than 20 years of private sector experience in the financial services and legal fields. Her strong investment, risk, legal, and compliance background and familiarity with distributed ledger technology, including crypto assets, will be invaluable as the agency looks to develop a holistic approach to regulating 21st century commodities.”

Former DMO director Vince McGonagle has been serving as acting director of the division during the transition period.

Tarbert first took office in July 2019, after Congress confirmed him in June. The former Treasury Department official succeeded Christopher Giancarlo, who was famously dubbed “Crypto Dad” after advocating for a “do no harm” approach to regulating the crypto space before Congress.

Since leaving the agency, Giancarlo has joined the advisory board to the Chamber of Digital Commerce, a trade association focused on blockchain and cryptocurrency policy in Washington D.C.

Australian Police Uncover Syndicate Involved in Crypto Laundering

Australian law enforcement bodies have uncovered a criminal gang allegedly involved in laundering millions of stolen funds through untraceable assets, including cryptocurrencies.
According to an announcement published on Sept. 17, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) have been conducting investigations into a major fraud and identity theft syndicate. The authorities allege that the syndicate purchased stolen data from darknet marketplaces and subsequently used it for identity theft.

Purchasing of untraceable assets

The syndicate allegedly created fraudulent bank accounts at various Australian banking establishments, with the news release adding: “The syndicate committed cybercrime offences to illegally steal money from the superannuation accounts of these victims, and from their share-trading accounts in ASX-listed companies.”

Following the theft, the syndicate laundered the stolen funds via untraceable assets such as jewelry, with the money being transferred back to Australia in the form of crypto. AFP Acting Commander Chris Goldsmid said:

“Cybersecurity threats such as data breaches and financial system attacks are a major concern for ASIC and we will continue to pursue not only cyber-related market and superannuation offending but also the need for institutions to maintain their obligations to ensure they have adequate cyber resilience.”

Other cases of identity theft

As previously reported, the United States Department of Justice charged a hacker group called “The Community” with a variety of charges, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. The charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison each.

In April, a U.S. federal jury convicted two Romanian cybercriminals of spreading malware to steal credit card credentials and illicitly mine cryptocurrency.

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