Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler today reaffirmed the SEC’s view that Bitcoin is a commodity but refrained from extending the label to any other cryptocurrencies in an interview with CNBC.
Gensler singled out Bitcoin as an example of a crypto asset that should be regulated under the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), as he’s done previously, but would not comment on other coins or tokens.
“Some, like Bitcoin, and that’s the only one, Jim, I’m going to say because I’m not going to talk about any one of these tokens, my predecessors and others have said, they’re a commodity,” Gensler said in response to a question from CNBC’s Jim Cramer.
Gensler added, however, that many other “crypto financial assets have the key attributes of a security,” noting that the main similarity between the two is the idea that “the investing public is hoping for a return.”
The regulatory framework surrounding cryptocurrencies and digital assets has centered on the interpretation of which ones function as securities, like stocks, and which ones operate as commodities, like gold. The previous SEC administration believed that both Bitcoin and Ethereum were commodities, but Gensler only mentioned Bitcoin in his latest comments and has previously avoided answering questions about Ethereum specifically.
Prior to Gensler taking the helm at the SEC, the Commission’s leadership had publicly adopted the position that both Bitcoin and Ethereum are not securities—the latter of which with some controversy, considering that Ethereum launched in 2014 through…