Transcribed from: https://tracyfirm.com/trade-signal-provide
Do part two of… I’m a trade signal provider is what I’m doing legal? I’ve already answered the question as it relates to securities, and the Investment Advisor Act and how that may not apply in the exemptions there too, so check out my previous video. This one’s going to deal with the commodities end of it, which I think is a little more relevant to your trade signal providers. If you’re… come from the forex world, trade signal copy trading, as some people call it. Especially in the UK, it’s a lot more prevalent in the commodities space than it is in the security space. I think it’s more relevant in the legal environment that we’re in today to sort of attack this question from the commodities elements.
The fundamental question as it relates to trade single providers in the commodities arena is, “Do I have to or am I acting as a commodity trading advisor? If so, do I have to register under the commodities exchange act as a commodity trading advisor?” Let’s get to the definition of what a commodity trading advisor is, and I’ll read it, “Any person who for compensation or profit engages in the business of advising others either directly or through publications or writings as to the value of commodities or the advisability,” Key point there, “Of trading in any commodity.” Okay? That is the definition of a commodity trading advisor.
Right there, when you think of what a trade signal provider does, you fall under that definition. Because you are in theory, you are in theory advising as to the trade opportunities or the trading, the decision to buy or sell a particular commodity. The fundamental question is are we actu… like it was with the securities world, are we dealing with commodity?
Here we have a little more clarity. We have more clarity because there’s been decisions, and the coin flip decision. The coin flip court decision that virtual currencies a.k.a bitcoin and ethereum are in fact commodities, we’ve seen this more recently and there’s been some follow on court decisions which have reaffirmed this. Bitcoin, I think without question, is a commodity, so is ethereum. I think arguably all of your currency type coins, your coins really, for lack of… as opposed to tokens, are commodities, and will ultimately be codified to be commodities.
Assuming that we’re dealing with bitcoin in a theory in which you see the most in the crypto space, most of your trade signal providers are dealing with bitcoin, and to a lesser extent, ethereum. Are you acting as a commodity trading advisor? Well, I would say by definition, you absolutely are. You absolutely are because you’re providing, again, you’re advising us to the trading of a commodity, which in this case is the bitcoin or the ethereum.
The question becomes, “How do I avoid registration?” Like registration as a commodity trading advisor is cumbersome. You have the NFA, you have the CFTC, you have licensing requirements, it’s an entire thing, and you probably don’t want to do it, and most trading signal providers don’t do it. They don’t do it because there’s an exemption. There’s an exemption from that. That exemption is twofold.
Number one, directing… the trade single provider cannot be A, directing client accounts, okay? And providing commodity trading advice, tailored, keyword, tailored to a specific client. Directing client accounts, refers to authorization. It refers to control. You cannot be in control of somebody’s account, right? Like if somebody… I’ve done another video go back and look at it, manage crypto waltz. There’s an element of control in there, someone is like seeding control seeding de facto trading authority over that account. You can’t do that if you’re going to be exempt from commodity trading advisor registration.
Two, much like we saw in the securities world with the Investment Advisor Act registration, the trade signals can’t be tailored to a particular client. You can’t be in the business of portfolio management. Again, think of like your CFP. Think of your financial planners who plan your portfolio or providing specific tailored advice to you, to a particular client. You can provide general trade signals out to your client base. You can charge for it, but you can’t tailor. You can’t get specific as to any one particular client.
If you’re not in control of their account, and you’re not providing specific tailored advice to a particular client, then while you may in fact be acting as… meet the definition of a commodity trading advisor, which I would say you would, especially with bitcoin and ethereum cause they’re commodities. I think that’s pretty fair to say. You’re exempt from CTA registration under that exemption that we just discussed.
It’s much like, comparing it and drawing back to my last video, talking about Investment Advisor Act in the securities world. It’s one, it’s always goes down to control. You can’t control the account. You can’t have like trading authorization over the account and two those trade signals have to be general in nature. They can be very specific as to the buy and sell, the specific signal that you’re indicating. As the specific market turn that you’re generating the signal off of, that’s fine. That’s totally fine, but what isn’t fine is if you’re going client by client and saying, “Based on your investment profile, here’s the signals that you should receive. Here’s the trades that you should make based on that.” You sort of have to dictate to the masses as opposed to one or more clients.
Now there’s another exemption if you do it for less than 15 people. Maybe you have some valid clients, and we can get to that in another video, but the main lesson here, is tailoring that specific trade signal set to one or more clients at a time, and being unique with that. If you have questions, definitely hit me up. My information’s below. Visit me [email protected]
T-R-A-C-Y firm.com, check you later.
Questions? Contact Adam S. Tracy here
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