In a Dec. 13 court filing, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) again called Ether (ETH) a commodity. This was different from what CFTC chief Rostin Behnam said on Nov. 30, when he said that Bitcoin was the only cryptocurrency that should be considered a commodity.
Based on what they filed today, the CFTC says that ETH is a commodity. This should really end any worries about safety. pic.twitter.com/PkHWredNK4
On December 13, 2022, Hal Press (@NorthRockLP)
In its lawsuit against Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX, and sister company Alameda Research, the regulator called Ether, Bitcoin (BTC), and Tether (USDT), “among others,” “commodities” under US law.
Section 1a(9) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 1a(9), says that bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), tether (USDT), and other digital assets are “commodities.”
But, at least in the past few weeks, there seems to be some disagreement within the CFTC about whether ether should be seen as a commodity or not.
During a crypto event at Princeton University on November 30, the head of the CFTC, Rostin Benham, is said to have said that Bitcoin is the only crypto asset that should be seen as a commodity. This goes against what he had said before, which was that ether might also be a commodity.
Gary Gensler, who is the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has also not made up his mind about ether in recent months.
Gensler confirmed that Bitcoin was a commodity in an interview with Jim Cramer on June 27. He said, “That’s the only one I’m going to say.”
Gensler has said that Ether was a security after its initial coin offering, but since then it has become less centrally controlled and has become a commodity.
In September, after Ether switched to proof-of-stake (PoS), he seemed to change his mind again. He said that staked tokens may be securities under the Howey test.
The classification of crypto assets in the U.S. is very important because the CFTC is in charge of commodities futures, while the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is in charge of securities like bonds and stocks.
Crypto sceptic Senator Elizabeth Warren is reportedly working on a bill that would give the SEC most of the regulatory power over the crypto industry. Intercontinental Exchange Inc. CEO Jeffrey Sprecher is also confident that crypto assets will be treated like securities, suggesting at a financial services conference on Dec. 6 that this would make consumers safer.
But Belgium has a different view on the matter. In a report released on November 22, the Financial Services and Markets Authority said that Bitcoin, Ether, and other crypto assets that can only be created by computer code are not securities.