• CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam has asserted that Ether and stablecoins qualify as commodities.
• Senator Kirsten Gillibrand questioned Benham about the differing stance of the CFTC and the SEC regarding crypto regulation.
• The SEC has adopted a heavy-handed approach to crypto regulation, executing 50% more enforcement actions against crypto projects in 2022.
CFTC Chair Asserts Ether and Stablecoins Are Commodities
The US Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman, Rostin Behnam, has reaffirmed his stance on ether (ETH) and stablecoins, making it clear that they qualify as securities. During a March 8 Senate Agriculture committee hearing on oversight of the CFTC, chairman Rostin Behnam asserted again that he believes stablecoins should be regulated as commodities.
SEC Disagrees with CFTC’s Position
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand questioned Benham about the differing stance of the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He referred to the former’s settlement with USDT stablecoin issuer Tether in 2021. Benham stated that the stablecoin’s status as a commodity was apparent to its enforcement team. While the CFTC believes bitcoin (BTC) and a good number of altcoins are commodities, its counterpart, the SEC has made it clear over time that BTC may be the only true commodity in the entire digital assets space.
SEC Takes Heavy-Handed Approach To Crypto Regulation
Gary Gensler’s SEC has taken a heavy-handed approach toward crypto regulation amidst criticisms from web3 proponents. In 2022, the dreaded regulatory watchdog executed 50% more enforcement actions against crypto projects than in previous years.
Implication Of Differing Regulatory Positions On Crypto Market
The contrasting positions of both regulatory bodies have implications for how digital assets will be treated by government agencies going forward. It also shows how challenging it can be for investors to understand how different cryptocurrencies will be regulated depending on their specific characteristics or use cases.
In conclusion, while there is still much uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations at both federal and state levels across US jurisdictions, one thing is certain: both agencies remain focused on ensuring investor protection within this relatively new asset class through rigorous enforcement action when necessary.