The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the US has just announced that it will treat Ether and the Ethereum network as a commodity. This comes a year after the organization signaled that Bitcoin should be treated as a commodity and fall within its jurisdiction as well.
The CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert, who just took over the role in July, has also said he anticipates the CFTC allowing ether derivatives trading on U.S. markets in the near future. This is a welcome sign for the market – to get clarity on the classification of digital assets and their use in trading and investing by US persons.
Perhaps the most interesting comment, Mr. Tarbert added that “forked” assets—cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin gold (BTG), and ethereum classic (ETC), coins created via forks from the original underlying blockchain—should be treated the same as the original asset. In other words, the CFTC’s classification of specific coins is based on what underlying asset they were created with. This is in line with the CFTC’s guidance on other financial products deemed commodities in the US.