The chairman of the U. S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Heath Tarbert, recently spoke about how tokens that use proof of stake consensus methods could be labeled as securities by the regulators.
According to him, staked tokens could be considered securities, depending on some factors. The CFTC has previously affirmed that, in the current scenario, Ethereum is not a security but a commodity. However, this could change with the upcoming upgrade for ETH 2.0.
As ETH 2.0 will use staking, the profits from the network are self-perpetuating and it could violate the Howey Test, which is often used to determine whether or not something can be considered a security.
Tarbert affirmed that mining is, by its own nature, a much more decentralized way to get cryptocurrencies and it is because of this that the definition of what Ethereum is might change soon. Staking may require less energy, but it does not seem to be the panacea to the industry that some people believe it to be, especially if it creates problems with regulators.
The chairman said that the entity is thinking carefully about the evolution of the popular blockchain network and he indicated that America should lead crypto regulations in the world. This would help to create an environment in which innovation can flourish freely.
He also defended regulation by using broad principles instead of granular rules, as he believes that strict rules can be bad for innovation, an approach that contrasts a lot with the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is pretty strict with applying the law.