During a recent interview with CNBC, the Chair of the CFTC, Rostin Behnam, confirmed that Bitcoin and Ethereum were classified as commodities by the CFTC. During the interview, he revealed that the CFTC was working with other federal agencies to regulate the crypto sector.
Details of The Interview
During an appearance on CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box,’ Rostin Behnam, the chair of the CFTC, discussed crypto regulation. The host asked him about his opinion on a recent bill in Congress, which would give the SEC the power to regulate security tokens, and the SEC the power to regulate commodity tokens.
Behnam responded by stating that this was an age-old issue between the CFTC and the SEC. He added that the two agencies had enjoyed a great relationship within the cryptocurrency space. According to Behnam, it made sense for commodities to be under the CFTC, and securities to be under the SEC. He added that within the crypto space, there were some coins, which would be securities, while others would be commodities.
The CFTC chair was also asked about recent comments made by SEC Chair Gar Gensler, who claimed that most crypto coins out there were securities. According to Behnam, the biggest crypto coins by market cap, which are BTC, and ETH, are commodities. However, he conceded that many coins fell under the definition of securities.
There Is No Conflict Between The SEC & CFTC
Behnam was asked if there was any friction between the CFTC and the SEC when it came to regulating the crypto sector. He responded by stating that there was no disagreement between the two agencies. He noted that both the SEC and CFTC aimed to regulate the crypto sector thoughtfully. Their goal was to protect customers and financial stability.
According to Behnam, there were currently no customer protections in place. He made this comment in connection to the recent sell-off in the crypto market. Behnam noted that a lot of people had been hurt, and a lot of value was lost in the market.
Comprehensive Crypto Regulation In The US
The United States of America is still one of the largest countries in the world, both in terms of its economy and its population, but it does not have any national regulations that are comprehensive in nature. As a direct consequence of this, the majority of federal agencies that regulate cryptocurrency do so based on their own findings. As a consequence of this, there is now tension between new businesses and the government agencies that regulate them. As a direct consequence of this, a great deal of prominent cryptocurrency projects have been forced to either discontinue their operations or avoid entering the US market. One project that exemplifies this point is the doomed attempt at cryptography known as Telegram, which was terminated because of disagreements with the SEC.
At the start of March 2022, President Biden issued an executive order, which calls for an assessment of cryptocurrencies, and a central bank digital currency by all US federal agencies. That is one of the first signs that the US could soon create national legislation for the crypto sector. However, that could be months or years away from actualization.