CFTC Chair says Bitcoin and Ethereum are commodities not securities

Rostin Behnam, Chair of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, said today in an interview with CNBC that he was “sure” that both Bitcoin and Ethereum are commodities.

Behnam was arguing that the vast array of digital assets includes both securities and commodities, and that it was the job of regulators to parse out which are which:

“Within the sphere of digital assets and the coins which make up thousands of thousands, they are naturally going to be some commodities and securities. In my view, it makes sense to sort of parse through the two and figure out where we can place each.”

“Proper oversight of the crypto industry, if it is to be done correctly, cannot skip this important step, despite its difficulty.”

Most notably, perhaps, was Behnam’s stance on Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are easily the dominant crypto assets by market capitalization. Without hesitation, he stated unequivocally that he considered both to be commodities.

When asked about a bill pending in the Senate that would place the majority of digital asset regulation under the purview of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Behnam said that the two agencies have a “great relationship historically,” and they continue to work closely together; nevertheless, he emphasized his belief that the CFTC should regulate commodities and SEC should regulate securities.