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CFTC Chair Requests SEC Support in Regulating Cryptocurrencies

Gus – Cryptocurrency Expert 

Rostin Behnam, the chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), repeated the position of the organization that Ethereum is a commodity.

Gary Gensler, head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), disagrees, according to Behnam, who also made this claim.

Behnam said “To claim that two agencies can't resolve their differences and collaborate is a fairly pessimistic viewpoint. I have said that [Ether] is a commodity, but Chair Gensler disagrees.”

Gensler has consistently shied away from commenting on the legitimacy of Ethereum with authorities. In contrast, the ex-Goldman Sachs partner suggested there was a strong case for the second-largest cryptocurrency to be classified as an unregistered securities in a 2018 MIT course (MIT). During the panel discussion organized by the law firm Lowenstein Sandler, Behnam said that he gets "very irritated when people start to talk about the CFTC as a more favorable regulator," adding that the CFTC's "greatest accomplishment" was the agency's history of enforcement actions in the crypto space.

Additionally, the CFTC has been viewed by many in the cryptocurrency industry as more crypto-friendly or, at the very least, more open to innovation. The U.S. SEC, led by Chairman Gary Gensler, has been accused of regulating solely through enforcement.

This viewpoint, however, has started to shift in recent months as a result of the CFTC's increased enforcement efforts regarding cryptocurrencies. Some of these enforcement measures, including the CFTC's most recent lawsuit against anonymous DAO members, have drawn criticism similar to that levied at the SEC, that the CFTC is going beyond the bounds of the law in trying to regulate the fledgling crypto economy.

Behnam asserted that the CFTC is not attempting to "play fast and loose" with the law when it comes to cryptocurrency firms, but he also said that the organization is prepared to be "very creative" in how it applies current regulations to persuade crypto exchanges to become part of the regulatory system.

Behnam also thinks the CFTC and SEC ought to work together to successfully regulate cryptocurrencies. Additionally, he noted that the government may not be doing enough to make the rules.

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