Federal District Court Confirms that Cryptocurrencies are “Commodities” under CFTC Jurisdiction

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled that cryptocurrencies fall within the definition of a “commodity” under the Commodity Exchange Act.

In a Motion to Dismiss, defendants argued that an allegedly fraudulent cryptocurrency, My Big Coin, is not a “commodity” since it does not deal in “contracts for future delivery” and thus is not within the CFTC’s jurisdiction over commodities. The plaintiff responded that there is future trading in cryptocurrencies and, as a result, My Big Coin falls under CFTC jurisdiction.

The Court denied the Motion to Dismiss and held that Congress defines a commodity by focusing on categories (e.g., cryptocurrency), not specific items (e.g., My Big Coin).