Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler recently confirmed that he believes Bitcoin is best classified as a commodity, rather than a security. However, he declined to comment on other cryptos classifications, leaving the status of altcoins like Ethereum still unclear.
Bitcoin VS Other
In an interview with CNBC on Friday, Jim Cramer asked the chairman about collaboration with the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in managing digital assets. Gensler responded with the oft -repeated finding that most crypto markets – which are a highly speculative asset class – include securities.
“The investment community expects returns, just like when they invest in other financial assets called securities,” he said.
However, Gensler acknowledged that some assets – namely Bitcoin – could be labeled as commodities, noting that their ancestors had been reluctant to classify them as such. “This is the only one I’m going to say because I’m not going to talk about any of those tokens,” he said.
During his tenure, former SEC chairman Jay Clayton also maintained that Ether – the second -largest cryptocurrency – was a commodity. However, when asked by CNBC what he thought about the legal status of the assets in January, Gensler avoided giving a direct answer.
In fact, while teaching a blockchain -focused course at MIT in 2018, the chairman argue if the Ether ICO is equivalent to an offering of securities. He specifically claimed to have passed the “Howey Test” – a simple litmus test used for the classification of securities since the 1930s.
The only consolation Gensler offered to Ethereans came from indirect sources. US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stated earlier this month that Gensler and CFTC Chairman Rostin Benham were in agreement that Ether is a commodity. While Benham has supported this claim directly, Gensler remains tight-lipped on the issue.
Commodities, Securities, or None?
The crypto industry internally collapsed on how digital assets should be classified. Some devout Bitcoiners like Max Keizer guard only Bitcoin is a commodity, while all other cryptocurrencies are unlisted securities.
“A lot of evidence shows that ETH, Vitalik [Buterin], [Joseph] Lubin, the entire ETH team, and the people who trade … openly discuss ETH as designed, with the goal of being, security, ”he told CryptoPotato in mid-June.
Meanwhile, some industry leaders think that crypto assets are not suitable for the binary classification. For example, Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson nekseni there is that “category -based regulation” would be antithetical to crypto, as it would rely on “centralized actors” for reporting and disclosure.