CFTC chairman Rostin Benham classifies Ethereum and stablecoins as commodities

Rostin Benham addressed senators and indirectly addressed the SEC in his remarks.

At a March 8 hearing, CFTC chair Rostin Benham said that certain digital assets, including Ethereum and stablecoins, constitute commodities.

Benham said at a hearing before the Senate Agricultural Committee: “I have stated that Ethereum is a commodity…It has been listed on CFTC markets for some years.”

According to Benham, This gives the CFTC a “jurisdiction hook” to supervise derivatives markets trading ETH and any underlying market.

He said that any Ethereum futures contracts listed on a CFTC-regulated platform had done so solely with its consent.

Benham said that the corporation examined Tether and found it a commodity. According to him, it determined that it needed to act “rapidly” to police the corporation, resulting in a $42.5 million settlement by the end of 2021.

Benham made these answers in response to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) inquiries at a Senate Agricultural Committee hearing.

Gillibrand presented these questions so that Benham may respond to Gary Gensler’s past remarks as U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairman. Recently, Gensler stated that the majority of crypto assets are securities.

Benham stated that exchanges and designated contract markets might seek clearance from the commission or participate in self-certification. Gillibrand indicated that this might result in a “competition” for monitoring. According to him, the second alternative shifts accountability on the CFTC and the exchange itself and requires “extensive legal research.”

Because Gensler has also stated that the CFTC should play a more significant regulatory role, Benham’s statements are not incompatible with Gensler’s.

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