Breaking: CFTC Chair Behnam Shifts Stance, Says Only Bitcoin Is A Commodity, Not Ethereum
Curiously, the crypto industry was watching Sam Bankman-Fried’s (SBF) interview at the Dealbook summit a few hours ago.
In the meantime, however, an extremely important shift in regulatory stance has occurred in the question of which other cryptocurrencies are commodities besides Bitcoin.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has been publicly advocating for quite some time that both Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH) are commodities. However, that regulatory assessment appears to have changed radically yesterday.
Speaking at a crypto event at Princeton University, CFTC chairman Rostin Behnam stated that the only cryptocurrency that should be considered a commodity is Bitcoin. In doing so, he is doing a complete backpedal from previous statements when he implied that Ether is also a commodity.
As Fortune reports, Behnam called the matrix of regulators an “imperfect system,” possibly to justify his new assessment, but praised the cooperation between U.S. regulatory agencies.
CFTC Performs Complete U-Turn With ‘Bitcoin, Not Ethereum’
Remarkably, Behnam expressed a contrary stance as recently as Oct. 24 during a speech for the Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance, as Bitcoinist reported.
During the speech, he discussed the perceived jurisdictional tussle between his agency and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) when it comes to crypto regulation.
Behnam tried to downplay the disagreement on many issues. At the same time, he noted that the CFTC still considers Ethereum (ETH) as a commodity and not a security. He added the comment; “Chairman [Gary] Gensler thinks otherwise – or at least hasn’t certainly declared one or the other.”
Other CFTC representatives, such as commissioner Christy Romero, also held the same opinion as recently as early October. Romero said at an event that she continues to “take the position that Ethereum is a commodity, even with proof of stake”.