Are Cryptocurrency CFDs reportable under ASIC?


Many firms have asked us if cryptocurrency (crypto) CFDs and other OTC derivatives with cryptocurrency as a reference are reportable under ASIC’s Reporting Rules. To date there has been no definitive position provided by either the regulation or ASIC guidance.

We have outlined considerations below to assist your firm in determining whether to report crypto CFDs until definitive guidance is issued.

What is reportable?

Under the ASIC OTC derivatives trade reporting regime, 5 categories of derivatives are currently reportable:

(a) commodity derivatives (excluding electricity derivatives);

(b) credit derivatives;

(c) equity derivatives;

(d) foreign exchange derivatives; and

(e) interest rate derivatives.

It would seem that the only category that a Crypto CFD could potentially fall under is ‘commodity derivatives’.

We are aware of informal communications from ASIC that they consider cryptocurrency CFDs should be reported as a commodity derivative.  However until published in writing, this is by no means determinative.   Whether you classify Crypto a commodity is open to each financial services firm’s own interpretation. The commodity derivatives we most commonly report on behalf of clients include gold, copper, oil, gas, coffee and corn.

What does TRAction recommend?

The below is TRAction’s indication on the reportability of Crypto CFDs:

Potential ScenariosReport Crypto CFDs
If you do classify cryptocurrency as a commodityYes
If you don’t classify cryptocurrency as a commodityNo

If you are concerned about the reportability of your Crypto products, we would suggest obtaining a legal opinion on which you can rely in the event of any regulatory scrutiny. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you wish to discuss any of the points above.

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