New York-based financial technology firm Tassat — formerly known as  trueDigital — has succeeded in overcoming the first hurdle in its bid to launch a fully-regulated crypto derivatives exchange.

According to an announcement from the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Nov. 7, the regulator has approved the transfer of a swap execution facility (SEF) registration from fellow New York-based financial services firm trueEX to Tassat.

Tassat had first reached the agreement in principle to acquire —  subject to CFTC approval — trueEx’s SEF registration back in July of this year. 

The company is now waiting for news regarding its prospective acquisition of trueEx’s Designated Contract Market (DCM) registration, which would allow it to operate an exchange listing futures or options contracts with oversight from the CFTC.

Physically-delivered BTC derivatives for institutional investors

In its press release, the CFTC stated that trueEX and Tassat fulfilled the requirement for transferring a SEF registration by providing evidence that Tassat would be able to operate in compliance with the provisions of the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act and related CFTC regulations.

The agency revealed that there are now a total of 19 registered SEFs, including Tassat, and noted that TrueEX had been granted its registration as a SEF by the CFTC on Jan. 22, 2016.

The registration brings Tassat closer to launching a crypto derivatives exchange with full oversight from the CFTC, where it hopes to list physically-delivered Bitcoin (BTC) derivatives for institutional investors. As CEO Thomas Kim said in July when the plans were first unveiled: 

“Adding the exchange to our ecosystem delivers a complete end-to-end offering, currently unavailable today, that encompasses tokenization, payments, market data and settlement for the benefit of our clients and partners.”

Regulated offerings 

In March, Tassat — when it was still known as trueDigital — had partnered with crypto data firm Kaiko and digital assets analytics company Inca Digital Securities to widen the distribution of its over-the-counter reference rates for Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH), the latter of which it created in partnership with ConsenSys.

TrueDigital was initially established as a subsidiary of TrueEx, which has long been active in the crypto space and was the first in the industry to secure a DCM registration for Bitcoin swaps from the CFTC back in 2012.

This summer, another crypto exchange ErisX, procured a derivatives clearing organization license from the CFTC as part of its plans to make digital asset futures contracts available for trade on its regulated derivatives market later this year.

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