Gensler On Board With CFTC Taking Over Bitcoin Oversight

Gensler, who served as the CFTC head for six years, said he is on board with helping Congress grant the commodities regulator more oversight


key takeaways

  • In August, senators proposed legislation that would have the CFTC oversee cryptoassets deemed commodities, such as bitcoin and ether
  • The SEC has previously said that ether is a commodity

In a surprising move for the industry, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler supports allowing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to oversee bitcoin. 

Regulating bodies need to collaborate to establish clear policies around cryptocurrency technology and investments in order to protect investors, Gensler said during his prepared remarks at the SEC Speaks event Thursday. 

“To the extent the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) needs greater authorities with which to oversee and regulate crypto non-security tokens and related intermediaries, I look forward to working with Congress to achieve that goal consistent with maintaining the regulation of crypto security tokens and related intermediaries at the SEC,” Gensler said.

In 2018, William Hinman, the former director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, called ether a commodity. Gensler has been less clear on his personal stance regarding ether, but said that the only token he would classify as a commodity would be bitcoin, during a June 2022 interview with CNBC

The news comes after a group of bipartisan senators introduced legislation that would make the CFTC in charge of overseeing bitcoin and ether, two cryptocurrencies the senators classify as commodities. Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and John Boozman, R-Ark., authored the bill, dubbed the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act, and introduced it in early August. 

Exchanges that enable investors to trade bitcoin and ether must also register with the CFTC, the bill notes. The SEC, which is roughly six times the size of the CFTC, will still control some aspects of governance over the crypto industry, but the bill does not detail exactly what this division of responsibilities will look like. 

Gensler’s support of CFTC involvement in crypto regulation is not the first time the two agencies have seen eye to eye. In August, The SEC proposed an amendment to Form PF, the confidential form via which registered investment advisers are required to disclose specific information about their security holdings. 

The CFTC is considering proposing the same amendments, which would require funds with at least $500 million in assets under management to disclose exposure to cryptoassets. The updates also would mandate large funds to report investment concentration, as well as leverage and related trading financing.

Bitcoin rallied following the remarks, rising 1.3% and recovering from its Wednesday slump below $19,000, alongside major market indexes, in Thursday afternoon trading in New York.

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research report - cover graphics (1).jpg


In this report, we dive into crypto private market data to gather insights on where the future of the industry is headed. Despite a notable downturn in private raises, capital continues to infuse promising projects that aim to transform payments, banking, consumer experiences, community, and more, with 2023 being the fourth-largest year for crypto venture capital.


BUZZ holds shares of Coinbase, Robinhood and MicroStrategy


Opinion: Even though I didn’t pay for my “Diamond Hands” burger with BTC, don’t let that fool you into thinking that crypto’s development is futile


The results mark “a major positive inflection point,” one analyst says, as the exchange carries net income momentum into a crypto rally


While the slate of 10 US spot bitcoin funds have tallied $4.6 billion of net inflows thus far, half of the field is lagging the leaders


Trading volumes totalled $154 billion in Q4, including $125 billion in institutional volume


DeFi on Bitcoin is all the rage right now and Stacks is positioned to benefit