The determination of whether a cryptocurrency is a security, or not, remains a murky space. Bitcoin has all but given the entire thumbs up that it does not fall under the control of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and Ethereum’s token, Ether, looks close to getting the same assurances.
There have been a few instances in the past where top-ranking officials in the securities game have given assurances that Ether is not a security, but it is yet to be codified and fully trusted. However, another assurance has now been given, this time by the CFTC Chairman, Heath Tarbert.
Tarbet said that the status of Bitcoin has been known for some time now, and is well documented. The major cryptocurrency has been designated as an asset and falls under the regulation as such. Now, for the Chairman, his belief is that Ether represents a similar classification.
“We’ve been very clear on Bitcoin: Bitcoin is a commodity. We haven’t said anything about Ether – until now,” Tarbert said. “It is my view as chairman of the CFTC that ether is a commodity.”
Tarbert continued to say the CFTC is working with the SEC on the two cryptocurrencies and have agreed both are not securities in what could be a defining moment for the top-ranked coins by market cap.
Going forward, the CFTC may allow Ether futures to trade on US markets, he suggested.
While those who make the decisions on designating a coin as a security or not drag their heels on determining other classifications for coins in the top 10 or 20, there has been a controversial move to try and help investors decide.
A number of major exchanges have set up what they called the Crypto Rating Council, which explains its purpose on the landing page as: “Leading crypto financial services firms committed to practical compliance with the SUS securities laws.”
Their ratings have slated XRP, the native coin from Ripple, as most likely a security while the company fights, on a different front in a US court, to prove that it is not.
The determination of if a coin is a security or not has huge implications for its future and potential. To fall under the scope of the SEC imposes major regulatory hurdles that a lot of cryptocurrencies are simply not able to handle or content with.