The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) charged three U.S.-based decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols – Opyn, ZeroEx and Deridex – on Thursday for omitting necessary registrations as a merchant and illegal offerings of digital asset commodities.

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Fast facts

  • CFTC accused the projects of illegally offering “leveraged and margined” digital asset commodity transactions. Deridex and Opyn are charged with failing to register as a swap execution facility or a designated contract market, and as a futures commission merchant, according to the CFTC release.
  • The commission ordered Opyn, ZeroEx, and Deridex to pay penalties of US$250,000, US$200,000, and US$100,000, respectively, along with a cease and desist of operations in violation with CFTC rules.
  • The projects have agreed to the penalties to settle the charges.
  • “Somewhere along the way, DeFi operators got the idea that unlawful transactions become lawful when facilitated by smart contracts,” said CFTC director of enforcement Ian McGinley in the press release. 
  • “They do not. The DeFi space may be novel, complex, and evolving, but the Division of Enforcement will continue to evolve with it and aggressively pursue those who operate unregistered platforms that allow U.S. persons to trade digital asset derivatives,” McGinley said.

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