CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert Talks Ethereum, DeFi and the Next BitMEX

CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert Talks Ethereum, DeFi and the Next BitMEX


The Takeaway

After the BitMEX enforcement action, are other noncompliant exchanges on the CFTC’s radar? “Maybe,” said chair Heath Tarbert. In an appearance Wednesday, the regulator largely deferred to his colleagues at the SEC on the question of whether ether in a proof-of-stake version of Ethereum would be a security or a commodity. He similarly punted on DeFi.

“Let me just basically say how impressed I am by Ethereum, full stop, period.”

No, that’s not a Silicon Valley investor. That was Heath Tarbert, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), who flexed a sophisticated understanding of blockchains during a live interview at CoinDesk’s invest: ethereum economy virtual conference Wednesday.

Chatting with CoinDesk chief content officer Michael J. Casey, Tarbert discussed how Ethereum and decentralized finance (DeFi) fit into U.S. securities and commodity laws, as well as the agency’s recent enforcement actions and the potential benefits and risks of migrating financial activities to

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