Publications

The CFTC continually strives to provide effective information and tools to help consumers avoid fraud. Below are some helpful resources on these topics. Bulk orders of certain publications are available free to organizations. If you have questions about any of these resources, please contact consumer@cftc.gov. These publications should not be resold.

Brochures

Bitcoin Basics

Learn basic information about Bitcoin, the CFTC’s jurisdiction, and how virtual currencies can be a target for fraud and for hackers. If you’re new to Bitcoin, this guide provides an introduction and points you to more information about Bitcoin and its risks. [PDF]

An Introduction to Virtual Currency

A quick guide to virtual currencies that covers how they can be purchased, why they are considered commodities, and what types of fraud can be found in the market. Use this guide to explore the world of virtual currencies and learn about potential risks. [PDF]

Commodity Futures Trading Commission - Overview

The CFTC is the federal government agency that regulates the commodity futures, commodity options, and swaps trading markets. [PDF]

Role of the CFTC in the Agri-Economy

Agricultural derivatives markets protect Americans from dramatic price fluctuations in food and other everyday products. The CFTC strives to ensure that these are open and competitive markets, so industry players can confidently hedge against risk. [PDF]

The Risks of Buying Gold, Silver and Platinum

Trading in precious metals such as gold, silver, or palladium can be a legitimate way to diversify your portfolio, but the market is volatile and also has its share of fraud. Beware of dealers’ lofty promises of easy profits or doomsday threats of a faltering economy.  [PDF]

Advisories

Customer Advisory: Use Caution When Buying Digital Coins or Tokens

The market for digital coins and tokens is still very young and there is no widely-accepted standard for placing a value on a particular coin or token. You need to ask about your rights, research what could affect the future value of a digital coin or token, and exercise caution. [PDF]

Investor Alert: Watch Out for Fraudulent Digital Asset and “Crypto” Trading Websites

The CFTC and SEC have recently observed investment scams where fraudsters pose as “ctryptocurrency” advisory trading businesses touting proprietary trading systems or mining farms. [PDF]

Customer Advisory: Risks of Virtual Currency Trading

Virtual currency is a digital representation of value that functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, or a store of value, but it does not have legal tender status. Learn more about the risks associated with this digital asset. [PDF]

Customer Advisory: Beware of “IRS Approved” Virtual Currency IRAs

Be cautious of sales pitches touting “IRS approved” or “IRA approved” virtual currency retirement accounts. Virtual currency prices sometimes experience wild price swings. This volatility is not reduced or limited just because the virtual currencies are held in an IRA. [PDF]

Customer Advisory: Beware Virtual Currency Pump-and-Dump Schemes

Pump-and-dump schemes occur in the largely unregulated cash market for virtual currencies and digital tokens, and typically on platforms that offer a wide array of coin pairings for traders to buy and sell. Learn the warning signs and how these schemes operate. [PDF]