The chief of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Rostin Behnam, claimed Bitcoin is the only crypto asset that can be viewed as a commodity during an invite-only crypto event at Princeton University, reported Fortune.
Behnam’s comments are quite a contrast to his early statements in October, where he claimed Ether (ETH) could also be viewed as a commodity. The CFTC chief was answering a question on which crypto assets should be seen as commodities and which ones qualify as securities.
The CFTC chief’s backtracking of his comments on ETH comes in the wake of heavy scrutiny of U.S regulators and accusations of corruption, with Republican lawmakers accusing the SEC chair of coordinating with FTX “to obtain regulatory monopoly.”
The debate over which cryptocurrencies qualify as commodities under the law has been a long-drawn one. Bitcoin is unanimously seen as non-security because of its true decentralized nature, whereas the status of Ether and several other cryptocurrencies have been a controversial topic. Ripple is currently facing a security lawsuit from the SEC as well.
The American financial regulator has found itself in hot waters in the wake of the FTX crypto exchange collapse primarily because of its association with the exchange.
CFTC was poised to receive oversight capacity through proposed Senate legislation called the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act (DCCPA), while the CFTC chief faced a lot of criticism for the same but defended the commission’s actions, claiming they don’t have the luxury to wait.
Behnam said the committee has limited oversight powers and blamed the “matrix of regulators” as an imperfect system. However, he called for better collaboration among the long list of regulatory bodies to come up with formidable regulations.
Related: Here’s how the CFTC could prevent the next FTX
The CFTC chief is slated for a congressional hearing on Dec. 1, discussing the collapse of the now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX and the lessons learned from the debacle.
Breaking: 8 Congress Members tried to stop the SEC from inquiring into FTX by questioning the SEC’s authority to inquire about Crypto
5 of those 8 members also received campaign donations from FTX, ranging from $2,900 to $11,600
— Nancy Pelosi Stock Tracker ♟ (@PelosiTracker_) November 25, 2022
The close ties of former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried with US policymakers and his lobbying efforts to make CFTC the primary crypto regulatory body has been questioned by many in the crypto community. A recent report also alleged that 8 U.S. congresspeople tried to stop the SEC from inquiring into FTX.