CFTC wants to learn about Ethereum Network’s smart contract feature, says Commissioner Dan Berkovitz

Dan Berkovitz, one of the Commissioners of Commodities Futures Trading Commission [CFTC], spoke about the Commission seeking public feedback on questions pertaining to Ethereum, in an interview with Block TV.

In mid-December 2018, the CFTC released an official statement on their portal, stating that a ‘Request for Information [RFI]’ will be published in the Federal Register. The request was made to seek more information on the Ethereum network, and its token, Ether.

The Commission asked questions about its underlying technology, risks, use-cases, mechanics, markets, and opportunities. Additionally, the Commission also wanted to know the similarities and differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The Commissioner stated that they got “a very good response,” and that they would be moving ahead with it. The Commission received over thirty responses from the public, with some of the responses being “very detailed,” he added.

Berkovitz further added that the Commission sought such responses from the public owing to Ethereum’s potential to be listed as a futures contract or derivatives, like Bitcoin. He said,

“So, we wanted to learn more about the technology and the other feature of Ethereum, which is very much interesting to the agency and what we want to learn about is the smart contract feature thats on the Ethereum network. We want to learn about how does that potentially affect the futures contract in Ether and what’s the interaction.”

The commissioner further stated that this process was “really educational” for the commission, with people reaching out to the CFTC, seeking to develop this technology to fit within the regulatory sphere. Berkovitz added that this “would give us additional understanding and ability to deal with the technology.”

Berkovitz concluded by saying that he was “very impressed” with the quality and quantity of information received, primarily because this process was voluntary. He said,

“I’ve looked at some of the letters, they are very detailed and a lot of excellent information that frankly if one really wants to understand this technology a lot better one would really need to look at these letters, they are very detailed.”

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