Swap

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A swap is a financial agreement whereby the parties to the agreement commit to exchange funds based on market conditions over the term of the agreement or at the end of it.

The 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act defined essentially all tradable financial instruments that are not futures contracts or securities as swaps and directed the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to regulate them.

Bitcoin is subject to the jurisdiction of the CFTC and bitcoin swaps are thus also subject to the jurisdiction of the CFTC.

Tera Exchange, a CFTC-licensed swap execution facility (SEF) was the first federally-registered entity to list a cryptocurrency-based derivatives contract when it offered swaps based on its own bitcoin price index in 2014. LedgerX, another SEF, launched trading in one-day forwards and commodity options, both of which are regulated as swaps and which called for delivery of bitcoin, in 2017. Tassat, which previously had been called TrueDigital, in 2019 took over the SEF license previously held by trueEX, an interest rate swaps platform, in order to trade cryptocurrency swaps.