Home Commodities Illinois Court Says Bitcoin And Ethereum Are Commodities: CFTC

Illinois Court Says Bitcoin And Ethereum Are Commodities: CFTC

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Hongji Feng

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Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Rostin Behnam said on July 10 an Illinois court has confirmed that Bitcoin and Ethereum are digital commodities.

According to Fox Business reporter Eleanor Terrett, Behnam said in a hearing that, based on the Commodity Exchange Act, 70-80% of the cryptocurrency market, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, is non-securities.

Digital Commodities vs. Securities


Behnam’s claim differs from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s persistent argument that some cryptos, like Ethereum, are securities and should be regulated by the Commission.

When Senator Sherrod Brown questioned Behnam on the lessons learned from previous crypto fraud cases. Behnam responded that the underlying technology of digital assets is “very unique and different” from traditional asset classes, compelling the agency to “ask different questions around cybersecurity and operational resilience.”

Besides, Senator Cory Booker expressed concerns that regulatory responsibilities had been left to the SEC and CFTC, resulting in a market still “rife with abuse.” He highlighted that nearly half of the cases on the CFTC’s enforcement docket involve crypto, calling this “extraordinary.”

Responding to Booker’s comments, Behnam acknowledged the challenge, describing it as a “staggering statistic” for an agency responsible for overseeing trillion-dollar markets.

He emphasized that the agency lacks jurisdiction over and funding for regulating the crypto industry, which jeopardizes both the traditional and crypto markets.

Jurisdictional Conflict Between SEC and CFTC


Senator Roger Marshall highlighted the ongoing jurisdictional conflict between the SEC and CFTC as both agencies strive to determine which digital assets are securities and which are commodities.

“Wouldn’t it be simpler if we put this whole thing under the CFTC’s jurisdiction?” asked Marshall.

“I speak for myself, but I’d be happy to do that,” Behnam answered. “I think we have the expertise and the capacity.”

Previously, former Department of Justice Attorney Seth Goertz explained in an interview with Cryptonews.com how the SEC v. Coinbase case could redefine crypto regulation in the United States.

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