Bitcoin Receives Boost From SEC Chairman

  • Bitcoin currently trades at $20,890.13 and has a 24-hour trading volume of $21,704,576,855.

Although Bitcoin has gained more widespread attention than it did a decade ago, the foremost cryptocurrency is yet to receive full backing from governing bodies such as the U.S. Security Exchange Commission. The U.S. has grown warmer to the crypto space even though it is set to impose regulations on the industry.

During a recent interview with Mad Money host Jim Cramer on CNBC, SEC chairman, Gary Gensler, reaffirmed his perspective on Bitcoin, calling it a “commodity” and not security. He also highlighted that the SEC, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC,) and bank regulators will work together to oversee the cryptocurrency industry.

As he has in the past, Gensler singled out Bitcoin as an example of a cryptocurrency asset that needs to be controlled by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), but he declined to remark on other currencies or tokens.

Gensler referred to Bitcoin as a highly speculative asset class, adding that individuals often aspire for a return when they invest in bitcoin and hundreds of other crypto tokens much like when they invest in other financial assets that are securities. Many crypto-financial assets, according to Chair Gensler, possess the essential characteristics of a security. 

Responding to a question from Jim Crammer, Gensler said,

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’s assertion concurs with Rostin Behnam, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), who declared bitcoin (BTC) to be a commodity last month.  Benham also referred to Ether (ETH), as a commodity.

Bitcoin Enthusiasts Welcomed This Comment

Genser’s clarification was well received by many Bitcoin enthusiasts and some of them took to their Twitter to share their thoughts. Microstrategy CEO, Michael Saylor wrote on Twitter,

Bitcoin is a commodity, which is essential for any treasury reserve asset. This allows politicians, agencies, governments, & institutions to support bitcoin as a technology & digital asset to grow the economy and extend property rights & freedom to all.

It appears that Genser’s statement carried bullish implications for Bitcoin lovers. Digital asset manager, Eric Weiss believes that Genser’s comments secure Bitcoin’s classification to be altered. He wrote on his Twitter

Gensler is the 2nd consecutive SEC Chair to declare that #Bitcoin is a commodity making it all but impossible for this classification to be altered in the future. Very significant indeed.

The regulatory structure for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets has focused on determining which ones operate as commodities like gold or securities like stocks. Genser’s recognition of Bitcoin appears to give the cryptocurrency more status than others such as Ethereum. There is a growing conversation on if Ethereum should be considered a commodity.

On the regulation of the crypto space, Gensler stated that the CFTC and the SEC are largely responsible for overseeing the regulation of digital assets in the US. He however noted that there is some overlap with banking regulators when it comes to stablecoins.

Lawrence Woriji Verified

Lawrence has covered some exciting stories in his career as a journalist, he finds blockchain-related stories very intriguing. He believes Web3 will change the world and wants everyone to be a part of it.

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