Crypto enthusiasts cheered in June when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission removed what traders believed was a major hurdle to Ether joining Bitcoin in the futures markets.
Another regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, dampened some of that optimism Tuesday by indicating that it still has some fundamental issues with the third most valuable digital currency.
The CFTC, which regulates derivatives, said in a statement that it planned to seek public feedback on Ether so it can better understand how the digital token is similar and different from Bitcoin. The futures watchdog listed a number of questions it has about Ether.
Many traders concluded that exchanges would soon start offering Ether futures after William Hinman, who runs the SEC’s division of corporation finance, said six months ago that he didn’t believe the token in its current form was a security that his agency had jurisdiction over. At the time, Cboe Global Markets Inc. President Chris Concannon said the announcement cleared a “key stumbling block for Ether futures.”
The CFTC referenced Hinman Tuesday, saying his remarked conveyed his “personal views.”
Key Questions the CFTC Wants Answered About Ether:
How do the functionalities and capabilities of Ether and the Ethereum Network differ from those of Bitcoin?How is the technology underlying Ethereum different from technology underlying Bitcoin?How is the governance of the Ethereum Network similar to that of the Bitcoin network?How could trading derivatives on Ether impact the underlying currency and the Ethereum Network?