LabCFTC was created by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to promote responsible financial technology (FinTech) innovation and fair competition. It was designed to make the CFTC more accessible to FinTech innovators, and serves as a platform to inform the commission's understanding of new technologies. It is also an information source for the commission and the CFTC staff on innovation that may influence policy development.
Its mission is to aid innovation, inform policy, and ensure the commission has the technological and regulatory tools and understanding to keep pace with the rapid changes to the commodity markets.
LabCFTC was launched out of the CFTC's Office of General Counsel.
In October 2019, the CFTC's chairman Heath Tarbert announced that LabCFTC would expand, becoming its own, independent office within the CFTC. Part of this initiative was to give LabCFTC the tools to focus on both internal and external innovation - keeping CFTC employees up to date on new technology, as well as creating tools to fight market manipulation and other illegal activity.