Last December, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued  a public call for feedback to “better inform the Commission’s understanding” of the Ethereum network and the cryptocurrency ether.  The CFTC said input would better inform the agency in the event that market participants submit proposals to list new cryptocurrency-based futures or derivatives products. The CFTC has already recognized the trading of Bitcoin-based derivatives.

Speaking at the Yahoo! Finance All Markets Summit on Thursday October 10, and as reported by Yahoo finance, CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert said he believes ether is not a security.  He went on to say, “We’ve been very clear on Bitcoin: Bitcoin is a commodity under the Commodity Exchange Act. . . .  We haven’t said anything about Ether — until now. It is my view as chairman of the CFTC that Ether is a commodity, and therefore it will be regulated under the CEA.”

On the issue of futures, Tarbert said, “And my guess is that you will see in the near future, Ether-related futures contracts and other derivatives potentially traded,” he added. “It’s my conclusion as chairman of the CFTC that Ether is a commodity and therefore would fall under our jurisdiction.”


David Zaslowsky has a degree in computer science and, before going to Yale Law School, was a computer programmer. He is currently the Chairman of the Litigation Department of the firm’s New York office. His practice focuses on international litigation and arbitration. He has been involved in cases in trial and appellate courts across the United States and before arbitral institutions around the world. Many of David’s cases, including some patent cases, have related to technology. Since 2008, David has been included in Chambers for his expertise in international arbitration.