The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman has affirmed his conviction that Ether and stablecoins should be treated as commodities. This comes as the tug-of-war between US regulators over who should gain oversight functions over cryptocurrency assets continues.
During a recent Senate session, Rostin Behnam reiterated that Ether and stablecoins should be regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). In the past, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has said that digital assets like Bitcoin, Tether, and Ether are commodities.
This claim was contained in the lawsuit filed in mid-December against Sam Bankman-Fried (FTX co-founder and ex-CEO). During the hearing in the Senate, Benham was also asked what proof the CFTC would show to get regulatory power over Ether.
According to him, the CFTC would not have permitted futures products of Ether to be listed on CFTC exchanges if it did not consider Ether a commodity asset. However, he clarified that this statement is his position on the matter.
Different Viewpoints By The CFTC And The SEC
According to Behnam, even if a legislative framework is built around stablecoins, they will still be seen as commodities. Behnam’s statement responded to a question posed by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand regarding the different viewpoints held by the CFTC and the SEC in the wake of the CFTC’s 2021 agreement with stablecoin issuer Tether.
In his subsequent response to the question, the CFTC chair indicated that it was extremely clear to both the enforcement team of the agency and the commission that USDT (a stablecoin) remains a commodity. Behnam’s often unstable attitude toward the classification of Ether appears to have been solidified due to the comment.
During a discussion at Princeton University last November, Behnam argued that Bitcoin is the only crypto that, except for Ether, could be regarded as a commodity. Meanwhile, a mere month before this event, he advocated that Ether should also be regarded as a commodity.
Recent statements made by Behnam contrast what the US SEC chairman Gary Gensler said in an interview with New York Magazine earlier this month. During the interview, he stated that all crypto except Bitcoin is security, which several prominent crypto-lawyers have called into question.
The different points of view held by various market regulators in the United States have the potential to foster an atmosphere of dispute. The competition between them for governmental oversight of the cryptocurrency industry shows no sign of ending.
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