CFTC Chairman Says Ether is a Commodity, Expects Ether Derivative Products to Trade

Speaking at the Yahoo Markets All Finance conference, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chair Dr. Heath P. Tarbert made several important comments today.

Tarbert stated, that in his opinion, Ether is a commodity and thus not a security. Tarbert also predicted trading of Ether derivatives as soon as this year.

Tarbert also clarified that regarding forks, these should be treated the same as the originating digital asset unless it has new characteristics intrinsic to being a security.

Asked about the relevance of the Howey Test, Tarbert said it has stood the test of time.

“The SEC has very thoughtfully outlined how the Howey Test applies today,” said Tabert.

The Chair affirmed previous comments that he desires the US to lead the digital asset sector, a common concern referenced by industry participants.

Regarding Libra, Tarbert said they are studying the stablecoin but as of yet have not come to a decision.

“If a crypto is not deemed a security, it is most likely a commodity,” said Tarbert.

Overall, Tarbert is exceptionally supportive of crypto innovation and digital assets in general. His relatively brief tenure, having stepped into the role this past July, has continued the innovation-friendly tone set by his predecessor, J. Christopher Giancarlo.

Tarbert also announced a new Director of CFTCLab, Melissa Netram, previously an executive from Intuit.

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