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Ex-CFTC Boss Clears Cryptocurrency Assets As Commodities, Regulatory Struggle Persists

Maria Bartiromo

ByMaria Bartiromo

Dec 16, 2023

Heath Tarbert, the ex-chairman of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), has made it clear that cryptocurrency assets should be treated like commodities, a significant development in light of the ongoing regulatory issues surrounding cryptocurrencies.

The announcement is made at a critical moment when regulatory agencies are trying to figure out how to clearly define the legal status of digital assets and create a regulatory framework. According to Rostin Behnam, the CFTC boss, while speaking on cryptocurrency regulation, said it differs from that of Gary Gensler, the SEC’s chairman.

Gensler has asserted that cryptocurrency intermediaries must comply with the SEC’s jurisdiction while dealing with securities. Considering their opposing opinions, Behnam maintained a positive professional relationship with them and the SEC, as they both focused on keeping the United States market safe. 

While at the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing sometime in March, Behnam reiterated that there are different digital assets in existence. He added that all the classification of these assets fits the CFTC’s former decision, as seen in its December 2021 court case with former FTX founder Sam Fried. 

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Market Participants To Have Better Understanding Of The Industry, Cryptocurrencies Classified

The CFTC’s objective to promote open, competitive, transparent, and financially sound markets aligns with its classification of “crypt” assets as commodities. Tarbert explained that when cryptocurrencies are treated like commodities, the CFTC regulates them, including enforcing laws and guidelines intended to safeguard investors and maintain the market’s integrity.

Analyzing the recent development, Bralon Hill from Crypto. News explained that market participants can navigate the changing industry with a better understanding of the regulations governing their actions if the classification of cryptocurrency assets as commodities is clarified. 

Tarbert’s statement supports the CFTC’s position that cryptocurrencies should be categorized as commodities. The CFTC has long maintained that some digital assets—Bitcoin and Ethereum in particular—fit under the definition of commodities.

Tarbert Hints Regulatory Body’s Responsibility, Nasdaq Reviews Digital Assets Investment 

Tarbert has also urged that the dynamic nature of the cryptocurrency market, marked by swift technological progress and decentralized frameworks, demands continuous regulatory adjustment to tackle new threats and prospects.

In other news, Tal Cohen, the Nasdaq co-president, disclosed plans to introduce tokenized assets technology as a service in an interview with Bloomberg Television. He said that the main aim of offering an institutional-grade platform that supports digital assets is to support the digital assets and promote them like carbon trading.

This latest shift is coming at a time when traditional financial institutions like Nasdaq are reviewing their investment in digital assets, as the regulatory scrutiny by the authorities persists. Nasdaq has maintained its plans to develop technologies to help customers manage their cryptocurrency assets. This decision has been linked to the more significant current trend in the financial markets. 

Arm Holdings, a United Kingdom-based company, is out to invest in the United States market. Reports say it is picking interest in Nasdaq through a significant public offering, citing the 2023 most extensive share offer as a perfect example.

While explaining the European market, Cohen reveals Nasdaq’s eagerness to work with European lawmakers to achieve a seamless regional operation. He also highlighted some of the perceived challenges, pointing out areas like market regulations and tax regimes while seeking changes that will be appealing for listings.

Maria Bartiromo

Maria Bartiromo

Maria Bartiromo is a renowned news writer and journalist, celebrated for her insightful reporting and authoritative voice. With a career spanning years, she has established herself as a trusted source of accurate and comprehensive news analysis, keeping readers informed on vital global developments.

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