What Does NFA Mean in Crypto?

By Julia Cook
Published Aug 15, 2022 and updated Mar 21st, 2023

NFA could refer to one of two things in cryptocurrency, depending on context. The first is as an abbreviation for ‘Not Financial Advice,’ the other is as an abbreviation for ‘National Futures Association.’

Not Financial Advice

Not Financial Advice (NFA) is an increasingly important disclaimer for public figures or writers to insert either before or after delivering their opinions regarding current cryptocurrency market conditions or regarding investment or sale of a particular cryptocurrency. For instance, after the Elon Musk Dogecoin (DOGE) debacle and subsequent crash in May 2021, Changpeng Zhao, Binance’s founder and owner, was quick to Tweet, ‘If you panic sell, you won’t be crypto rich. NFA.’ By inserting ‘NFA. at the end of his Tweet, he is indicating that he will not be held responsible for anyone who makes a loss by acting on this opinion.

The National Futures Association

The National Futures Association (NFA) is an independent, self-regulatory organization within the US that is tasked with regulating the US futures and derivates market. It is funded by members and investors in the derivatives market, rather than taxpayers. It is responsible for protecting the investors in a derivatives market by enforcing compliance by actors within the derivatives market with the NFA’s regulatory compliance standards. This association is becoming more involved with tokens and altcoins that are used to raise funds during ICOs, IDOs and IEOs. It is not surprising that their involvement in the cryptocurrency space came at the end of 2017, which was the year of the ICO bubble and when Bitcoin (BTC) really started gaining mainstream notice.

According to the NFA, ‘NFA’s Interpretive Notice 9073 establishes disclosure requirements for futures commission merchants (FCM), introducing brokers (IB), commodity pool operators (CPO) and commodity trading advisors (CTA) that engage in activities related to virtual currencies or virtual currency derivatives.’ Further details of the NFA’s authority over cryptocurrencies can be found on their Virtual Currency webpage.