- The Chairman of the US Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Heath Tarbert, believes that Ethereum futures will be launched in the near future.
- Tarbert reaffirmed that Bitcoin and Ethereum are commodities and fall under the jurisdiction of his authority.
The futures contracts for Bitcoin have had a rocky history in the US. However, after the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) first opened trading in cash settled contracts in December 2017, many new products have emerged. Bakkt introduced the first physically settled Bitcoin futures. Most recently, options on the futures contacts on CME and Bakkt were introduced.
What is lacking in the USA, however, are futures contracts on other cryptocurrencies. At least for the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, this could change soon. If Heath Tarbert, Chairman of the US Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), is right, Ethereum (ETH) futures could be introduced to the US market in the near future.
As Tarbert again pointed out in an interview with Bloomberg TV, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are commodities and fall under the jurisdiction of his authority. In the interview with Kevin Cirilli of Bloomberg, Tarbert made the following statement on the subject of cryptocurrencies:
I really think, not only in the digital assets themselves, but in the underlying blockchain technology –Kevin, I want the United States of America to lead in this. I want to encourage innovation, and it’s interesting because commodities are what we regulate, particularly derivatives on commodities. Right now, the two biggest types of digital assets, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), actually fall within our jurisdiction.
In his view, the market is ripe for ETH futures, and also for more crypto futures as soon as more altcoins are classified as commodities:
We are doing a lot in the digital asset space. We are seeing exchanges started to list; certainly, we have seen Bitcoin Futures, both cash-settled as well as physically-delivered. My guess is we are going to see Ether Futures as well. And as things start to migrate into the commodity space, we will see even more.
Tarbert brings new life to the CFTC
Although Tarbert did not take over the chairmanship of the CFTC from Christopher Giancarlo until April 2019, he has already made some important clarifications and progress for crypto space. During his term of office, Tarbert has already emphasized several times that America must take the lead in cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology.
A few weeks ago, he affirmed that his nation should take the lead:
Well, the CFTC, I said that I really believe that the United States of America should lead the way not only in digital assets themselves, but also in block-chain technology. I want to encourage innovation.