Crypto DAOs and Their Token Holders Aren’t Safe From the CFTC


A recent enforcement action by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission signals that the community-run projects popular in crypto known as decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs, are within the purview of the agency’s oversight — as are the millions of people who hold DAO governance tokens that are used to make decisions.

The CFTC on Thursday filed and settled charges against bZeroX LLC and its founders Tom Bean and Kyle Kistner for illegally offering “leveraged and margined retail commodity transactions in digital assets,” among other charges. Simultaneously, the CFTC filed a federal civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California charging the Ooki DAO — a decentralized effort that bZeroX converted into last year — with violating the same laws, holding it liable as an “unincorporated association.”

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