Government-regulated ether (ETH) futures trading could soon be a reality as the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman, Heath Tarbert, dubbed the smart-contract cryptocurrency a commodity, essentially pulling it under the jurisdiction of the financial regulator. This according to a report by Yahoo Finance, October 10, 2019,
ETH Futures on the Way, CFTC Chairman Says
The stance of government regulatory bodies the world over towards anything crypto is undergoing a slow transition as an increasing number of financial watchdog representatives continue to sound optimistic about a future where digital currencies function in tandem with traditional finance in an economy.
In the latest of such encouraging developments, CFTC Chairman, Tarbert, said that “ether is a commodity.” The representative added that he sees ether futures trading in the U.S. financial markets in the near future.
Speaking at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit in New York City on October 10, 2019, Tarbert stated:
“We’ve been very clear on bitcoin: bitcoin is a commodity. We haven’t said anything about ether—until now.”
“It is my view as chairman of the CFTC that ether is a commodity.”
Notably, Tarbert also opined that he agrees with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) previous guidance on bitcoin (BTC) and ether which deemed the pair to not qualify as securities. He added that the CFTC and SEC are working together to bring a degree of uniformity to such grey areas of the crypto market.
Reportedly, Tarbert acknowledged the “ambiguity in the market” with regard to the myriads of digital tokens. However, he said that ultimately “similar digital assets should be treated similarly.”
Forks to be Treated as Commodities Too
Tarbert opined that “forked” cryptocurrency assets – such as bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin gold (BTG), and ethereum classic (ETC) that are created from the parent blockchain network should also be considered as the original asset by regulators.
“It stands to reason that similar assets should be treated similarly. If the underlying asset, the original digital asset, hasn’t been determined to be a security and is, therefore, a commodity, most likely the forked asset will be the same unless the fork itself raises some securities law issues under that classic Howey Test.”
It’s worth noting that the concept of ether futures contracts is not something entirely new on the crypto block.
As reported by BTCManager on May 14, 2018, Crypto Facilities, a U.K. cryptocurrency trading platform under the supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched the first batch of regulated ether futures for trading.