DCMs are registered trading exchanges that operate under the oversight of the CFTC.  DCMs can be physical market floors or electronic platforms that provide a marketplace for trading.  They may offer futures (including options thereon), option contracts on an underlying commodity, and swaps.  Many DCMs are affiliated with designated clearing organizations that provide clearing and settlement services.

To obtain and maintain registration, a DCM must comply at all times with twenty-three Core Principles established in the CEA and with applicable CFTC regulations.  Notably, the Core Principles require the exchange to prevent market manipulation and to establish and enforce trading rules to ensure fair trading for all customers.  The CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight conducts periodic reviews of each DCM’s compliance with Core Principles and CFTC regulations, including examinations of the self-regulatory programs operated by the DCM to enforce its rules, prevent market manipulation, and ensure adequate recordkeeping.  As a condition of providing access to its market, a DCM requires all members or market participants to consent to its jurisdiction.  As a type of self-regulatory organization (“SRO”), a DCM is responsible for implementing and enforcing its own rules.  The CFTC requires that DCMs maintain sufficient staff and resources to prosecute potential rule violations by market participants.

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