In a recent CNBC interview, Consensys founder Joseph Lubin made a bold statement affirming that Ethereum (ETH), the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network, should be classified as a commodity.
Lubin referenced past statements by regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), as supportive evidence for his stance. Despite this, Gary Gensler, the chairman of the SEC, has not yet explicitly acknowledged Ether as a commodity, even though he has recognized Bitcoin as such.
In the interview, Lubin highlighted former SEC official Bill Hinman's speech in 2018, which he described as having effectively declared Ether not a security.
The Ethereum co-founder pointed out that 18 of Hinman's colleagues collaborated on the speech, indicating a consensus within the SEC at the time. However, he admitted there might still be a few regulators who have yet to concede that Ether is not a security, although he did not see it as a significant issue.Lubin also reflected on the progress within the cryptocurrency industry over the past year. He pointed to successful developments and launches in 2022, and emphasized that the initiative to "clean up the CeFi rot" has been incredibly valuable for the industry. CeFi, or centralized finance, has faced numerous criticisms in the past for not aligning with the decentralized ethos of cryptocurrencies.
Lubin's statements are compelling, but they have no effect on the official classifications of Ether. A formal recognition from Gensler and the SEC, classifying Ether as a commodity, is yet to come.