Sunday, September 25, 2022

Former CFTC commissioner Jill Sommers joins FTX US Derivatives board

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Jill Sommers, who served as a commissioner at the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission, has joined the board of directors for FTX US Derivatives.

In a Thursday announcement, crypto exchange FTX US’ derivatives arm said Sommers had become its latest board member in a move seeming to increase the company’s regulatory efforts. Sommers served as a CFTC commissioner from 2007 to 2013 under former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush and was the managing director of regulatory affairs for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

According to Sommers, FTX US Derivatives aimed to become “the most regulated digital asset exchange in the world.” She said the board would work closely with regulators, suggesting discussions with the CFTC and others within the United States government.

“Adding Jill’s wealth of experience in the derivatives landscape is an invaluable resource for our board as we traverse through the evolving digital asset ecosystem and its integration into the broader financial market structure,” said FTX US Derivatives CEO Zach Dexter.

Sommers’ addition to the board followed former CFTC commissioner Mark Wetjen joining FTX US as the firm’s head of policy and regulatory strategy in November 2021. Wetjen, who served as a commissioner from 2011 to 2015 and acting chair in 2014, has previously supported legislative efforts by the crypto exchange connected to expanding the CFTC’s authority. FTX US has proposed amending its clearing house license to include margined crypto-based products without intermediaries.

Related: FTX and FTX US seek even more funding following acquisitions

Members of Congress have several pieces of legislation that aim to provide regulatory clarity for crypto offerings, whether that means having them fall under the purview of the CFTC or the Securities and Exchange Commission. On Aug. 3, four U.S. lawmakers introduced the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act, a bill that proposed expanding the role of the CFTC by requiring crypto firms to adhere to many of the same standards for financial institutions dealing in commodities — registering with the regulator and making certain disclosures on trading practices and risks. 

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