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President Trump To Nominate Dan Berkovitz For Democratic CFTC Commissioner Position



De Silva

The president intends to nominate Dan Berkovitz as a commissioner of the CFTC, according to a statement released by the White House on Monday. During the Obama administration, Berkovitz served as the agency’s general counsel from 2009 until 2013.

On April 16, 2018, the White House announced President Trump's intention to nominate Dan Berkovitz to fill the fifth and final position as a commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). If confirmed by the Senate, Berkovitz would serve the remainder of a five-year term that expires April 13, 2023. At present, Berkovitz is a partner at law firm WilmerHale, where he is co-chair of the futures and derivatives practice.

It is anticipated that Berkovitz's Senate confirmation will be coupled with that of Dawn Stump, a Republican. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Senate has been waiting for the selection of a Democratic commissioner in order to confirm a pair.

To date, Berkovitz has offered limited commentary on the cryptocurrency markets. In October 2017, shortly before the CFTC released a primer on virtual currencies, he gave his perspective on non-securities initial coin offerings (ICOs).

"People might not have realized that they were getting into a commodity business," Berkovitz told Bloomberg Law. "All of a sudden, it's an area where the CFTC is vigilant. It's an awareness that people need to have."

It's not a lot to go on but, obviously, the prospective commissioner is cognizant of the agency's potential oversight responsibilities (especially for the cryptocurrency derivatives market).

In recent months, the CFTC created subcommittees on distributed ledger technology and virtual currencies, issued a pump-and-dump warning about virtual currency schemes, and provided guidance to its employees about cryptocurrency investments. The agency has also subpoenaed Bitfinex and Tether, and continued its case against Patrick McDonnell and CabbageTech Corp (DBA Coin Drop Markets). Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo also testified on cryptocurrency before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Mr. Berkovitz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Matthew De Silva

Matthew has a passion for law and technology. He graduated from Georgetown University, where he studied international economics and music. Matthew enjoys biking and listening to tech podcasts. He lives in Los Angeles.

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