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US cryptocurrency exchanges set to meet, discuss self-regulation

Four leading US-based cryptocurrency exchanges have assembled into a new self-regulatory organization to spearhead best practices.

A new working group entitled the Virtual Commodity Association – spearheaded by the Winklevoss-owned Gemini Exchange – will now hold its first meeting this September with the view of forming a self-regulatory organization comprised of leading US-based cryptocurrency exchanges.

Gemini first proposed the formation of an Association in March this year, where the company proposed that a self-regulatory framework – like those seen in markets as far afield as Japan – could assist the development of cryptocurrency markets.

Announced this Monday, the group will initially include the likes of Gemini, Bitstamp, Bittrex, and bitFlyer. Each exchange will host a representative that, under the auspices of a self-regulatory organization, will intend to draft best practices for the cryptocurrency industry as well as formalize membership requirements.

In a statement to the press, Yusuf Hussain, head of risk at Gemini, quipped that “This is the first of many steps in policing the digital asset markets and answering the call of regulators”, while Bitstamp CEO Nejc Kodrič added that “We believe in the value of self-regulation, which we pursued in Europe almost from our inception, and look forward to following a similar path in the U.S. Those that can’t or won’t comply with regulations put consumers – and their own operations – at risk”.

The Virtual Commodity Association will be led in the interim period by Maria Filipakis, the former Executive Deputy Superintendent at the New York Department of Financial Services.

Filipakis offered positive sentiments on the formation of the organization – saying “I applaud the VCA and its members in their commitment to strengthen the digital asset industry’s regulatory landscape, rules for the protection of customers, and bring forth industry setting best practices and market transparency.”

Notably, Coinbase – the largest US-based cryptocurrency exchange – is yet to offer any word as to whether it plans to join the Virtual Commodity Association.