CFTC Chairman Reconsiders Ethereum’s Status as a Commodity

After years of arguing the opposite, Rostin Benham’s opinion on crypto commodities suddenly matches that of Gary Gensler.

The head of the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Rostin Benham, has retracted prior remarks that Ether (ETH) and other alternative cryptocurrencies should come within his agency’s authority.

Speaking on the future regulation of crypto after FTX’s bankruptcy, he argued that only Bitcoin should be recognized as a commodity.

Wednesday, as reported by Fortune magazine, the chairman expressed his views at an invitation-only crypto event organized by Princeton University.

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s allowed time slot was filled by a panel titled “The Demise of FTX and Other Crypto Entities: Lessons Learned.”

According to Benham, his agency spoke with FTX for “tens of thousands” of hours about permitting the exchange to enable users to trade using money borrowed directly from the firm, rather than via a broker.

Through the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act, the CFTC would also get more money and supervision. The measure, filed in August and backed by SBF, would increase CFTC jurisdiction to regulate exchanges for “digital commodities,” categorise cryptocurrencies and expressly define Bitcoin and Ether as commodities.

In September, Benham was hopeful about the measure, calling it a “great step forward.” “Numerous digital assets are commodities,” he said before the Senate at the time. “As acknowledged by the DCCPA, the CFTC’s skills and experience make it the proper regulator for the digital asset commodities market.”

Gary Gensler, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), disagreed with the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last month. In contrast, his most recent assertions seem to align him with Gensler’s view that only Bitcoin can be categorically termed a commodity.

Gensler has maintained a tight lip when commenting about the securities classification of other cryptos but has intimated multiple times that the overwhelming majority of digital assets – including stablecoins – are likely securities.

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