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Joe Lubin Expresses Confidence in Ethereum’s Classification as a Commodity

Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin believes ether (ETH) should be classified as a commodity, but Gary Gensler considers non-Bitcoin cryptocurrencies as securities.

Key Points

  • Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin believes that ether (ETH) should be classified as a commodity, citing the CFTC’s view on the matter.
  • CFTC chairman Rostin Benham agrees with the commodity classification, but SEC chairman Gary Gensler sees non-Bitcoin cryptocurrencies as securities.
  • Gensler’s current stance contradicts his previous belief that ether transitioned from a security to a commodity in 2018.
  • Lubin criticizes regulators for their reluctance to acknowledge ether as a non-security, while voices in the crypto industry call for clearer guidelines from the SEC.

Ethereum co-founder and ConsenSys CEO Joe Lubin recently addressed concerns over whether ether (ETH) could be classified as a security in the United States following the cryptocurrency’s transition to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus model. In an interview with CNBC on June 28, Lubin expressed his confidence in the existing regulatory decision on ether, stating that the Commodity Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC) considers it a commodity.

Contradictory Opinions on Ethereum’s Classification

Rostin Benham, the chairman of the CFTC, has previously stated that top cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether’s USDT fall under his agency’s jurisdiction as commodities. However, this view conflicts with that of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Gary Gensler, who has indicated that “everything other than Bitcoin” can be classified as securities. Gensler’s stance was reinforced earlier this month when the SEC filed lawsuits against Binance and Coinbase for allegedly offering unregistered securities.

Gensler’s opinion also differs from his previous position. Before becoming the SEC chair, Gensler taught courses on digital currency at MIT and believed that ether had transitioned from a security to a commodity by 2018.

The “Forgone Conclusion” Regarding Ethereum’s Classification

Lubin referenced a 2018 speech by former SEC director William Hinman, in which he declared that ether was not a security. Lubin pointed out that the SEC has already made its stance clear on the matter. However, Gensler has refrained from explicitly stating whether ether is considered a security or not.

Lubin expressed his confusion over the reluctance of certain regulators in the United States to acknowledge that ether is not a security, stating, “There may be a regulator or two in the United States that can’t bring himself to utter the fact that Ether is not a security, but I don’t know why that’s the case.”

End Note

In the midst of this debate, voices within the crypto industry, including billionaire Mark Cuban, have criticized the SEC for failing to provide clear guidelines and a registration process for crypto firms to follow. The lack of clarity from regulators has created confusion and uncertainty for market participants.

Despite the ongoing discussion surrounding Ethereum’s classification, Lubin remains confident that the transition to a PoS consensus mechanism solidifies its position as a commodity rather than a security.