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CFTC Chairman: a commodity can become a security and vice versa

Celia Wan

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman Heath Tarbert confirmed that a security can turn into a commodity and vice versa. 

Tarbert made this remark on Monday at DC Fintech Week, when asked about a comment he made earlier this month that ether is not a commodity. At the conference, Tarbert emphasized that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the entity that determines when something is a security, while the definition of commodities, which fall under the CFTC's jurisdiction, is broader.  

Meanwhile, the SEC has dealt out a string of crackdowns on initial coin offerings (ICOs) of tokens that it deems as securities.  

Earlier this month, the regulator filed an emergency action against Telegram and TON Issuer for failing to register the sale of their Gram tokens, which the SEC regarded as securities. This filing follows a settlement between the SEC and Block.one, the firm behind the EOS blockchain, for conducting an unregistered ICO.