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Digital Currency Revolution Series: US-CFTC Chair Clarifies Ether’s Status as a Commodity

While SEC maintains the conservative approach on cryptocurrencies by constantly declining bitcoin ETF proposals and by stating ‘Bitcoin and Ethereum Are Not Securities’, the new Chair of the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) has said today that Ether (ETH) is a commodity – hinting the room for a plethora of newly regulated derivatives products on platforms like the CBOE.

CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert, at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit in New York, said “it is my view as chairman of the CFTC that ether is a commodity.”

Although the CFTC had previously declared that “Bitcoin and other virtual currencies” should be treated as commodities in 2015, Tarbert’s remarks are the first time A CFTC official has ever publicly commented on Ether.

“We’ve been very clear on bitcoin: bitcoin is a commodity under the Commodity Exchange Act. We haven’t said anything about ether – until now. It is my view as Chairman of the CFTC that ether is a commodity, and therefore it will be regulated under the CEA. And my guess is that you will see, in the near future, ether-related futures contracts and other derivatives potentially traded … It’s my conclusion as Chairman of the CFTC that ether is a commodity and therefore would fall under our jurisdiction.”

While speaking at Yahoo Finance’s All Market Summit: Crypto, William Hinman, the Director of Corporate Finance for the SEC, said:

When I look at Bitcoin today, I don’t see a central third party whose efforts are key factor to determining the success of that enterprise. The network on which bitcoin functions is operational and appears to have been decentralized for some time….Moreover, putting aside the fundraising that accompanied the creation of Ether, based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the Ethereum network, its decentralized structure, we believe that current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions….”

ETHUSD (at Coinbase) is currently trading downside at 187.27 levels with selling momentum.

By Niranjan Patil
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