The judge who dismissed the Uniswap action described Ether as a “commodity”
Judge Katherine Polk Failla of the United States District Court is also presiding over the SEC’s action against Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange.
When a group of Uniswap customers filed a lawsuit on August 30 alleging they lost money to scam tokens on the exchange, Judge Katherine Polk Failla dismissed the complaint, calling ETH and Bitcoin “crypto commodities.”
Failla also cited this disparity as part of her decision to throw out the case, saying she wasn’t persuaded by arguments that Uniswap’s token sales were within the purview of the Exchange Act.
Failla is also the judge in charge of the SEC’s case against Coinbase, which is an interesting twist. She has already presided over cases involving Tether and Bitfinex, among others in the cryptocurrency space.
Her statement is not a binding finding on the legal status of Ether in the United States, but it follows previous judicial rulings on cryptocurrencies, such as the one in July that said XRP is a security when sold to institutional investors.
In recent years, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, two U.S. financial authorities, have argued about who has authority when it comes to cryptocurrencies.
Former SEC chairman Gary Gensler said that the agency regulates “everything other than Bitcoin” as a security.
While this was happening, in March, the CFTC sued Binance for possibly breaking the Commodities Exchange Act by trading ether and other cryptocurrencies.
There are a number of proposals making their way slowly through Congress that would clarify regulatory standards for digital assets, but they all divide power between the two agencies in different ways.
The Financial Innovation and Technology Act, for example, seeks to establish guidelines for classifying cryptocurrencies as either securities or commodities.
For example, the CFTC will be responsible for registering and regulating cryptocurrency spot exchanges under the Digital Commodity Exchange Act.