Virtual Commodity Association Working Group

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Virtual Commodity Association
Founded 2018
Key People Yusuf Hussain, President; The Winklevoss Twins, Founders
Products Self-regulatory organization
Twitter @VCAdotorg
Website VCA Homepage

On August 20, 2018 the Virtual Commodity Association Working Group announced its formation by four cryptocurrency trading platform members, Bitstamp, bitFlyer, Bittrex, and Gemini Trust Company. The announcement also said that it would hold its initial meeting in September 2018.[1] According to CoinMarketCap, an online data aggregator and reporting service, at about the time of the formation of the association, each of the members was one of the 35 largest cryptocurrency trading platforms in the world.[2] The use of the uncommon term "virtual commodity" was implied that the association would be focused on transactions in bitcoin and Ethereum, the two digital currencies most likely to fall under the regulatory jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Already by January 2021, the association, which evidenced little activity since its founding more than two years earlier, was down to two members, Gemini and bitFlyer, according to the website. BitFlyer remained a top 10 trading platform at the time while Gemini had slid to 49th place in trading volume according to online data aggregator CryptoCompare.[3]

VCA SRO[edit]

The August 2018 announcement followed a springtime proposal by Cameron Winkelvoss, one of the Gemini Trust Company's founding co-owners, to create a self-regulatory organization (SRO) called the Virtual Commodity Association (VCA).[4]

The group's goal is to establish a self-regulatory organization for oversight of virtual currency marketplaces. It was headed up on an interim basis by Maria Filipakis who previously, as the executive deputy superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services, had been involved in the drafting and implementation of the "Bitlicense," the only licensing program for cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.S. The working group also announced that its agenda for the September 2018 meeting would address membership, best business and regulatory practices and organization.[5]

In July 2019, the VCA launched six committees to write white papers explaining best practices, KYC, AML (especially pertaining to the Bank Secrecy Act), custody and security, insurance standards, market integrity, and taxation for digital asset markets and blockchain-based companies. The VCA's president, Yusuf Hussain, said that these committees "directly address the concerns of regulators that are trying to figure out the crypto space,” and that the VCA is “not a replacement for but a supplement to traditional regulatory bodies.” The VCA said it would model itself after FINRA and will collaborate with experts from mainstream financial services organizations in order to design regulations and consumer protections.[6]

Key People[edit]