The CFTC chairman confirmed that Ethereum qualifies to be a commodity and all the forked assets like the Ethereum Classic shall be subjected to similar regulatory considerations.
Speaking at the Yahoo Finance Summit, CFTC chairperson Heath Tarbet said that the ETH token falls under the regulatory oversight of CFTC. He further added that in the near future, one cannot rule out the possibility of having Ethereum futures in the market. Tarbet said:
“We’ve been very clear on bitcoin: bitcoin is a commodity. We haven’t said anything about ether—until now. It is my view as chairman of the CFTC that ether is a commodity.”
Besides, the CFTC chairman also expressed his wish of the U.S. taking the leading role in the blockchain and digital assets market. He said:
“I want to stress the importance of blockchain and digital assets to the United States, and in particular, as CFTC Chairman, I want the U.S. to lead in this technology.”
Besides, he also stated that the CFTC is closely working with the SEC on these two cryptocurrencies. These two regulators commonly agree that Bitcoin and Ethereum are not securities. Speaking on this matter, Compound Finance General Counsel Jake Chervinsky pointed out:
The CFTC calling ETH a commodity has nothing to do with securities laws at all. Securities are a *type* of commodity. Financial instruments can be one, both, or neither. Not to mention that the SEC already said ETH isn’t a security last summer.
— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) October 10, 2019
Forked Digital Assets to Get the Same Regulatory Status
Chairman Tarbet was also asked whether the same rules are applicable to forked cryptocurrencies. He said that any forked asset, Ethereum Classic, in this case, will get the same regulatory status as Ether. He added:
“It stands to reason that similar assets should be treated similarly. If the underlying asset, the original digital asset, hasn’t been determined to be a security and is, therefore, a commodity, most likely the forked asset will be the same. Unless the fork itself raises some securities law issues under that classic Howey Test.”
Apart from Ether, Tarbet also answered questions on Facebook‘s Libra project. He said major regulators are looking into it and yet to determine is the Libra stablecoin falls under the security classification. “Is it a security, first and foremost. And if it isn’t a security, it is most likely a commodity,” he said.
When it comes to having regulations for digital assets, Tarbet’s views are quite similar to his predecessor Christopher Giancarlo. The ex-CFTC chairman is known popularly as ‘Crypto Dad’ for his pro-crypto stand.