Bitcoin has 'elements of all of the different asset classes' - CFTC Chairman

Bitcoin and other virtual currency really have elements of different asset classes, whether they're meeting payment, or it's a long-term asset.

David Nurieli
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According to a report by CNBC, Christopher Giancarlo, chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) thinks that the federal government has no clear and comprehensive legislation in development. While the ecosystem around Bitcoin is still changing, Giancarlo said that is his view Bitcoin is part currency, part security, and part digital coin. In an interview on CNBC Fast Money, Giancarlo said,Bitcoin and a lot of its other virtual currency counterparts really have elements of all of the different asset classes, whether they're meeting payment, whether it's a long-term asset.”

The United States has financial regulatory bodies defining Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies by different aspects. Due to this treatment and confusion, there is a delay clearly defining what the assets are. "We see elements of commodity in it that are subject to our regulations, but depending on which regulatory regime you're looking at, it has different aspects of all of that," Giancarlo said. He also mentioned that Bitcoin has aspects that are similar to gold, only its virtual and digital.

In the 30s, the U.S. established certain conditions arounds assets. This makes it difficult to define and govern how cryptocurrency should be treated. Especially since the technology has only been in existence for ten years. Regulators and lawmakers have discussed whether the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should have more authority to oversee the cryptocurrency markets. Giancarlo believes that it is up to the U.S. Congress to clearly define how regulators should treat cryptocurrencies and whether they should be classed as assets.

Currently, the CFTC supervises the trading of Bitcoin futures, which are classified as commodities, and those commodities are managed through two exchanges, the CBOE and CME.