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Wave of the future

CFTC develops fintech incubator

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission wants to help push innovation in the futures markets.

The agency on May 17 approved the creation of LabCFTC, a New York-based financial technology incubator that the CFTC hopes will “improve the quality, resiliency and competitiveness of the markets” it oversees, the commission said in a news release.

The on-site lab will have two core components: GuidePoint, which will allow developers to learn what the CFTC does and also get feedback from the agency on ideas for the market; and CFTC 2.0, which will allow for collaboration among the agency, the futures industry and fintech developers on technological and compliance needs of the market.

In a speech May 17 at New York City's FinTech Innovation Lab to introduce LabCFTC, Acting CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo said LabCFTC “will be the hub for our engagement with fintech innovators and the community in which they thrive.”

The CFTC sees the lab as a two-way street — promoting fair fintech development while also keeping agency officials up to speed on new developments that could impact the futures markets and affect any current or future regulations, Mr. Giancarlo said.

This article originally appeared in the May 29, 2017 print issue as, "CFTC develops fintech incubator".