Joe Lubin, Ethereum Co-Founder and the CEO of ConsenSys is not worried about ether (ETH) being classed as a security in the United States after the crypto’s transition to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus model.
Speaking during a June 28 interview with CNBC, Lubin noted that a regulatory decision on ether has already been made. “The CFTC has spoken very crisply a number of times that they consider Ether like a commodity,” he stated.
Notably, the Commodity Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC) boss Rostin Benham has previously said that the top three cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum, and Tether’s USDT, belong under his agency’s purview as commodities.
Benham’s opinion, however, directly contradicts that of Securities and Exchange Commission boss Gary Gensler, who has on multiple occasions indicated that “everything other than Bitcoin” fits the definition of securities. Earlier this month, Gensler’s hammer struck twice as the SEC filed landmark lawsuits against Binance and Coinbase for purportedly offering cryptocurrencies that the regulator deems to be unregistered securities.
The commission’s chairman has also hinted that ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, fell under this umbrella after the network’s monumental shift to a proof of stake consensus mechanism.
But Gensler wasn’t always so trenchant a detractor. Before becoming the chair of SEC, he taught courses on digital currency at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and consulted with that school’s Digital Currency Initiative. During this time, he believed ether had graduated from being a security into a commodity by 2018.
“The SEC has spoken,” Lubin opined, referencing former SEC director William Hinman’s 2018 speech Ethereum speech where he declared the asset a non-security. Recently unmasked documents revealed that Hinman dismissed warnings from other SEC staffers who believed his comments would cause immense market confusion.
Notably, Gensler refused to say whether ether was a security during a five-hour-long hearing in April. “It’s really a forgone conclusion at this point,” Lubin observed. “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.”
Meanwhile, industry figures and billionaires like Mark Cuban are calling out the SEC for failing to provide crypto firms with a clear registration process to comply with.