Bitcoin (BTC) and many of its crypto peers have element of “all of the different asset classes”, according to the chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) J. Christopher Giancarlo.
In an interview with CNBC’s TV programme “Fast Money” on Monday, Giancarlo found similarities between Bitcoin and gold, but he added that other aspects of the digital coin were similar to currencies and securities.
"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," Giancarlo said, as quoted by CNBC.
"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," he added.
However, Giancarlo thinks that Bitcoin may not be the best form of payment and sees the digital coin as being better suited for a long-term buy and hold strategy.
On the subject of regulation, Giancarlo noted that the CFTC, as well as the US Securities and Exchange Commission operate under rules and regulations that had been established in the 1930s, while Bitcoin was a relatively new asset. He added that, ultimately, it was for the US Congress to decide whether new rules should be established for cryptocurrencies.
The Bitcoin price has seen significant losses in the past 24 hours. The original cryptocurrency closed yesterday’s session at $9,240.55, down from its opening level of $9,426.11. It has fallen further in today’s trading, with its price currently hovering around $9,000. The decline appears to be in line with a downtrend observed across the wider cryptocurrency market.
As of 08:33 BST, the Bitcoin price stood at $9,009.74, down 2.9% from the same time yesterday. The digital coin’s total market capitalisation currently stands at $153.2 billion, data from cryptocurrency tracker Coinmarketcap shows.
For further information on how to buy and trade Bitcoin, see our comprehensive Bitcoin guide.