LedgerX, an institutional bitcoin trading and clearing platform, announced this week that Mark Wetjen, the ex-commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Comission (CFTC), will join its board.
Nominated by President Barack Obama in 2011 and unanimously confirmed by the Senate as one of the five CFTC commissioners, Wetjen both helped to implement the first trading mandate for certain types of interest rate and credit default swaps and pushed the CFTC to undertake approximately 95 enforcement cases under the Dodd-Frank Act and Commodity Exchange Act.
He also served as the acting chairman and sponsor of the CFTC’s Global Markets Advisory Committee, which advises the CFTC on issues relating to the “the integrity and competitiveness of U.S. markets and U.S. firms engaged in global business.”
LedgerX already recruited a CFTC Commissioner to their team: James E. Newsome, Ph.D., an Independent Director at LedgerX, served at the CFTC from 2000 until 2004, when he assumed the role of President and CEO of the New York Mercantile Exchange, which was acquired for $11.2 billion in 2008 by the CME Group, the parent company of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
LedgerX applied for both a Swap Execution Facility (SEF) and Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO) license last year with the CFTC but has received only a temporary SEF registration at this point. LedgerX CEO Paul Chou has publicly stated that “only with both SEF and DCO licenses from the CFTC can we clear and physically deliver the underlying commodity, offer an order-book trading venue and attract institutional traders.”
Following last week’s announcement from the CFTC declaring bitcoin a commodity, the Wetjen’s appointment will certainly help LedgerX navigate the CFTC’s SEF and DCO license application process in order to become a sanctioned bitcoin trading and clearing platform.