CFTC labels Ether (ETH) as a commodity in court filing

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CFTC labels Ether (ETH) as a commodity in court filing

By Charles Thuo - min read
  • CTFC has on multiple occasions referred to ETH, BTC, and USDT among others as commodities under United States law.
  • The CTFC chief Rostin Behnam had earlier suggested that Bitcoin was the only cryptocurrency that should be viewed as a commodity.
  • The CTFC is suing Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX, and sister company Alameda Research.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in its lawsuit against Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX, and sister company Alameda Research has on multiple occasions referred to Ether, bitcoin, and Tether’s USDT as commodities under the United States law. The CFTC made the court filing on December 13.

The recent reference of the various cryptocurrencies as commodities comes about a month after the CFTC chief Rostin Behnam suggested that bitcoin was the only cryptocurrency that should be considered as a commodity.

In the court filing, CFTC noted:

“Certain digital assets are “commodities,” including bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), tether (USDT) and others, as defined under Section 1a(9) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. § 1a(9).”

Is Ether a commodity or security according to the CFTC?

Over the recent weeks, there seem to be some disagreements within the CFTC on whether Ether should be considered a commodity or not.

During a crypto event at Princeton University in November, CFTC chief Rostin Benham suggested that bitcoin was the only cryptocurrency that should be considered as a commodity, taking back previous comments that had asserted Ether as a commodity.

In June this year the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Gary Gensler in an interview with Jim Cramer during the hosts’ Mad Money show said Bitcoin was a commodity saying “That’s the only one I’m going to say.” Gensler has on previous occasions suggested that Ether was a security after its initial coin offering (ICO) but it has turned into a commodity after becoming more decentralized. But in September, his stance on Ether appeared to have shifted again after he suggested that most cryptocurrencies may be considered securities under the Howey test.

The designation of crypto assets in the US is important since the CFTFC regulates commodities futures while the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is in legal battles with a number of crypto startups, regulates securities.