CFTC Chair Changes Mind Over Ethereum ‘Commodity’ Claim

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  • CFTC Chair Rostin Behnam has changed his mind over Ethereum’s status as a commodity
  • Benham said in September that he believed that ETH was a commodity, not a security
  • He has since changed his mind, saying on Wednesday that only Bitcoin should be considered a commodity

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chair Rostin Behnam has seemingly changed his mind on Ethereum’s status as a commodity, having previously suggested that it fell into this category. Benham was speaking at a crypto event at Princeton University on Wednesday when he appeared to row back on claims made just three months ago that Bitcoin and Ethereum were the only two cryptocurrencies that should be considered commodities. His apparent sea change sees him fall more into line with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Gary Gensler, who suggested that Ethereum is now a security following its shift from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake.

Benham Sides with Gensler

Benham had previously suggested that Ethereum should be classed as a commodity rather than a security, saying at an event in September that, “I’ve suggested [Ethereum] is a commodity, and Chair Gensler thinks otherwise.” Gensler has provided his thoughts on Ethereum obliquiley a few times in the past, saying in June that Bitcoin was the only coin he would absolutely say was a commodity, suggesting that all others might fall under the bracket of being a security.

We don’t know when this conversation between Gensler and Benham took place, but if it was post Ethereum-merge then Behnam may have been swayed by Gensler’s argument over Ethereum’s status following its shift to proof-of-stake:

From the coin’s perspective…that’s another indicia that under the Howey test, the investing public is anticipating profits based on the efforts of others.

Whenever it happened, it seems that Benham has been swayed – during the event on Wednesday he echoed Gensler’s sentiments in saying that only Bitcoin could be considered a commodity.

This isn’t great news for Ethereum, with both the bodies responsible for regulating cryptocurrencies in the U.S. unofficially treating Ethereum as a potential security.