The Chairman of the Commodity Futures Buying and selling Fee (CFTC), Rostin Behnam, has reiterated his stance that stablecoins and Ether are commodities and may fall below the purview of the CFTC. Behnam made the assertion throughout a Senate Agricultural listening to on March 8, in response to questions from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
Behnam’s feedback are more likely to escalate the tug-of-war between regulators in america over the management of cryptocurrencies, with the Securities and Change Fee (SEC) and the CFTC holding differing views on the matter.
The CFTC’s opinion on Ether and stablecoins was strengthened following the company’s settlement with stablecoin issuer Tether in 2021. Behnam acknowledged that it was “clear to our enforcement group and the fee that Tether, a stablecoin, was a commodity.”
The CFTC has beforehand asserted that digital property resembling Ether, Bitcoin, and Tether are commodities, as evidenced in its lawsuit in opposition to FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried in December 2021.
Behnam defended the CFTC’s place through the Senate listening to, stating that the company wouldn’t have allowed Ether futures merchandise to be listed on its exchanges if it didn’t consider that Ether was a commodity asset.
In the course of the listening to, Senator Gillibrand requested Behnam what proof the CFTC would put ahead to win regulatory affect over Ether, to which Behnam replied that the company would want “severe authorized defenses” to assist its argument.
Behnam’s place is at odds with that of SEC Chair Gary Gensler, who claimed in a February 23 New York Journal interview that “the whole lot apart from Bitcoin” is a safety. The differing views of the regulators may result in a regulatory battle as every vies for management over the cryptocurrency business.
In mid-February, the SEC focused stablecoin issuer Paxos, alleging that its Binance USD stablecoin was an unregistered safety, and stating that it could sue the agency for violating investor safety legal guidelines. The SEC additionally focused Terraform Labs, claiming that its algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD Basic was a safety.
Behnam’s feedback have been met with pushback from the cryptocurrency business, with Circle founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire stating that he doesn’t consider “the SEC is the regulator for stablecoins,” and that they need to be overseen by a banking regulator.