CFTC Chairman, Tarbert Defines Ether (ETH) As a Commodity

Ibiam Wayas by Ibiam Wayas - 07:28 AM Oct 11, 2019
CFTC Chairman, Tarbert Defines Ether (ETH) As a Commodity


The newly inaugurated Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman, Heath Tarbert, has said that ether (ETH) is a commodity, at Yahoo Finance's All Markets Summit in New York City.

The declaration reveals CFTC's final decision on ETH, as the regulator issued a public call for feedback in December 2018 to better inform its understanding of the Ethereum network and ether.

"We've been very clear on bitcoin: bitcoin is a commodity. We haven't said anything about ether—until now," Tarbert said on stage at the Summit. "It is my view as chairman of the CFTC that ether is a commodity."

CFTC Works with SEC on the Matter

His decision today reaffirms with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) previous guidance that defined Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) as securities. He added that CFTC is working with the SEC on this matter.

While Tarbert acknowledged the "ambiguity in the market" on the status of many cryptos, he noted that "similar digital assets should be treated similarly."

For instance, the chairman said that cryptos created by a fork from original underlying blockchains such as bitcoin gold (BTG), bitcoin cash (BCH), and ethereum classic (ETC), should equally be treated by regulators like the original asset.

"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," Tarbert added, "unless the fork itself raises some securities law issues under that classic Howey Test."

Considering the concept of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), Tarbert also gave insight on how he and the CFTC view the coins generated through ICOs. According to him, it is possible for a new currency to be a security at the inception but later change to a commodity.

Playing the role of a watchdog, the CFTC was reported, investigating the Seychelles-headquartered BitMEX crypto exchange, for letting clients in American clients trade on its markets.

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Ibiam Wayas

Ibiam WayasIbiam Wayas is an optimistic crypto news reporter who also enjoys tech writing. He is an introvert who spends much of his time on the internet studying facts that will help him excel in the digital/cryptocurrency space.