Gary Gensler, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States, revealed in an interview that the only cryptocurrency he is willing to openly classify as a commodity is Bitcoin.
In his remarks on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Gensler hinted at the potential direction of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency regulation in the nation by talking about the ramifications of classifying some cryptocurrencies as commodities rather than securities.
In the interview, Gensler said that the “hundreds of tokens” available on the cryptocurrency market offered investors “a return” in 99 percent of the cases, which is one of the requirements for an asset to qualify as a security. They would then be subject to the SEC’s regulation as a result. Gensler stated:
“The investing public is hoping for a return, just like when they invest in other financial assets. We call (this financial assets) securities, and many of this crypto financial assets have the key attributes of a security. Some of them are under the Securities and Exchange Commission (jurisdiction).”
The U.S. CFTC has declared jurisdiction over these digital assets and categorizes Bitcoin and Ethereum as commodities. The SEC and its head appear poised to push forward and finally take control of the whole cryptocurrency industry, including the hotly contested Ethereum. Gensler continued:
“Some like Bitcoin, and that is the only one I’m going to say, my predecessors have said it is a commodity (…)”
In the past, the CFTC has always pushed back the SEC back as they consider ETH a non-security commodity, as stated by former CFTC Chair Brian Quintez:
According to former CFTC Chair Brian Quintez, the CFTC has historically held the SEC back since they view ETH as a commodity rather than a security:
“A futures contract on a security is in both the SEC and CFTC’s jurisdiction. A futures contract on a pure commodity is only in the CFTC’s jurisdiction. There is currently a futures contract on #ETH. It is only under the CFTC’s purview which makes ETH a non-security commodity.”
Gensler rose to prominence for instructing a course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies before being named SEC Chair.
Investors in cryptocurrency therefore viewed him as having the potential to change legislation in the sector’s favor. Since the beginning of his mandate in 2021, his views have been fairly gloomy as he talks about the “volatile” and “speculative” nature of the digital asset class, leaving many people disappointed.
Bitcoin is currently trading hands at $20,897, down 1.79 percent over the last 24 hours. The market capitalization of the flagship cryptocurrency is $399 billion.