The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced the award of $16 million to whistleblowers this year with a significant amount going to crypto-related cases.
In an Oct 31 press release, Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero speaking on the Whistleblower policy highlighted the achievements, awards offered, and associated judgments as financial regulators tighten their activities.
— CFTC (@CFTC) October 31, 2023
The US regulator noted that the program has yielded positive results so far leading to a better enforcement regime adding, “Whistleblowers play a vital role in supporting CFTC investigations related to fraud and other illegality. The CFTC could not fully protect customers and markets without whistleblowers.”
This year the Commission gave $16 million in awards including $15 million given in two instances in September although the regulator did not disclose the nature of the cases at the time.
Romero added that a majority of tips received this year have come from the cryptocurrency market, “an area that continues to have pervasive fraud and ogler illegality.”
This year, regulators have ramped up efforts to effectively regulate the digital asset market following several infamous collapses and bankruptcies recorded last year which many blame on a lack of a regulatory framework.
Romero commended the efforts of the CFTC’s Office of Customer Education and Outreach in educating the public on ways to protect their funds and to identify popular scams. This is quite important because as the adoption of crypto increases, more retail consumers are now under the purview of the CFTC.
CFTC’s whistleblower policy
The Commodity regulator started the policy in 2014 and according to their in-house assessment, it has yielded positive results.
In the last nine years, the Commission has awarded about $350 million to whistleblowers in cases that have seen the regulatory obtain judgment above $3 billion.
The vital role played by whistleblowers cannot be overstated by the Commission as they identify fraud, interpret evidence, and save time and resources leading to the mantra “The faster we can stop fraud, the more we can protect customers from harm.”
This year, the regulator recorded the highest number of tips surpassing 1,520 due to the incentives and protections offered to whistleblowers.
CFTC lawsuits spring confidence
While some users have expressed dismay with the lawsuits of the CFTC against industry executives and firms, others have lauded the efforts of both the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to pro-regulators, the activities of authorities will bring renewed confidence in the market and attract institutional investors rather than the skepticism that ravaged the space in previous years.
the CFTC has filed lawsuits against Binance for the alleged marketing of unregistered products targeted at the U.S. market which the exchange has denied.