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CFTC Chairman Calls Bitcoin and Ethereum Commodities

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Rostin Behnam said that Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, are commodities and not securities.

Testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Behnam noted that his agency should engage in regulatory oversight of these crypto assets to better protect investors.

He referred to report The Financial Stability Oversight Council’s (FSOC) 2022 report highlights a gap in regulation of the “spot market for non-securities digital assets” and calls on the agency to address the issue.

In his statement, the CFTC chairman cited a recent Illinois court ruling that deemed altcoins Olympus (OHM) and KlimaDAO (KLIMA) commodities. Continued inaction by other U.S. regulators will not kill public interest in digital assets, but will increase risk to financial markets and investors, Behnam said.

The official added that 70-80% of crypto assets are not linked to securities. The CFTC chairman outlined several key legislative priorities that he believes the agency should implement to more effectively regulate digital goods.

These include the agency’s ability to tailor rules to the unique risk profile of cryptocurrencies, a permanent fee-for-service funding model requiring registrars to comply with a comprehensive disclosure regime for their crypto assets, and enhanced KYC and AML measures.

Behnam urged the Committee to consider a balanced framework for determining whether tokens are considered commodities or securities under current law. He also suggested working to implement a comprehensive education program regarding crypto assets in the United States.

“The SEC and the CFTC have a long-standing partnership that promotes strong and robust regulation of the securities and derivatives markets,” Behnam said.

The official expressed confidence that the two agencies will continue to work closely together to ensure a reliable and fair system for listing and trading digital assets on regulated exchanges.

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Source: Cryptocurrency

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