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CFTC Once Again Labels Ether As Commodity


The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has once again designated Ether as a commodity in a court filing on December 13. This is in contrast to statements by chief Rostin Behnam who suggested on November 30 that Bitcoin was the only cryptocurrency that should be considered a commodity.

The regulator posted on Twitter that certain digital assets are commodities, including Bitcoin, Ether, and Tether among others, as defined under Section 1a(9) of the Act, 7 USC 1a(9). However, there is some disagreement within the CFTC about whether Ether should be regarded as a commodity or not.

Behnam, during a crypto event at Princeton University on November 30, highlighted Bitcoin as the only crypto asset that should be viewed as a commodity – this a backtrack from previous comments which asserted that the second most popular cryptocurrency may also be a commodity. Gary Gensler, SEC chairman, in recent months had also had an undetermined take on Ether. He had said on the Mad Money show on June 27 that Bitcoin was a commodity. The chairman had previously said that Ether was a security after its initial coin offering (ICO). It had become more decentralized and turned into a commodity since then.

But in September, his stance shifted again following Ether’s transition to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus. Gensler highlighted that staked tokens may constitute securities under the Howey test.

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