Rostin Behnam believes that the provision of stablecoins and Ether should fall under the jurisdiction of CFTC.
US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chair Rostin Behnam, during a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, stated that stablecoins and Ether (ETH) are commodities and not securities.
Rostin Behnam reaffirmed his position, classifying these crypto assets as commodities in a tag-of-war between regulators over the control of crypto assets. Behnam’s recent views oppose those of Gary Gensler, the chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
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Gensler has held the view that all cryptocurrencies except Bitcoin (BTC) should be treated as securities and, thus, fall under the purview of the SEC. Gensler argued before that Ethereum should be categorized as security if it was not already one, following its migration to proof-of-stake that allows people to earn passive income through staking.
SEC has been involved in several crypto regulatory activities. In one case, it threatened to sue Paxos, a stablecoin issuer, for violating investor protection laws.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand asked Behnam about his view on the controversial matter during the Senate Agricultural hearing held on March 8th. The CFTC chair responded:
Notwithstanding a regulatory framework around stablecoins, they’re going to be commodities in my view. It was clear to our enforcement team and the commission that Tether, a stablecoin, was a commodity.
The comments during the hearing showed the CFTC chair's stance on the classification of stablecoins and Ether. It is worth noting that in 2021, Behnam claimed that stablecoins could be considered securities.
Regulatory activities by SEC that aim to suppress some crypto activities have been met with resistance from some industry participants. The Founder and CEO of Circle, Jeremy Allaire, said that SEC should not be regulating stablecoins.