(Reuters) – The US CFTC filed a federal lawsuit in New York on Tuesday, accusing Gemini Trust Co. for making false and misleading statements regarding a bitcoin futures contract that the company was working on in 2017.
The agency claims that Gemini, a crypto exchange led by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, violated federal laws governing commodities and seeks civil fines and other reparations.
Gemini officials “knew or should reasonably have known that the statements and information provided or omitted” by the company were false or misleading as to how a proposed bitcoin futures contract might be susceptible to manipulation, according to the submission.
“We have an eight-year track record when it comes to asking for permission, not forgiveness, and always doing the right thing. We look forward to proving this definitively in court,”; Gemini said in a statement.
Gretchen Lowe, acting CEO of the CFTC, said in a statement that the lawsuit “sends a strong message that the Commission will act to protect the integrity of the market surveillance process.”
The CFTC notification noted that Gemini’s proposed bitcoin futures contract was particularly significant as it would be one of the first digital asset futures contracts listed on a designated contract market.
In December 2017, a Gemini bitcoin futures contract began trading on the Cboe Futures Exchange under the ticker symbol “XBT”, although it was not immediately clear if the CFTC’s lawsuit specifically referred to this contract.