The U.S. Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is looking to fill the “harmful regulatory gap” in the digital asset market.

CFTC Chairman Rostin Benham testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry on July 10, calling for federal legislation to protect investors.

“Given the risks that this unregulated market poses to US investors, I have consistently and publicly called for new legislative authority for the CFTC,” Benham said.

While Benham went on to stress the risks of an unregulated digital asset, one thing he made was his stance on ether as a commodity that falls well within his purview.

He referenced a ruling by the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois in favor of the CFTC in a case involving fraud by an unregistered entity that promised steady returns in bitcoin and ether.

“In its decision, the court re-affirmed that both bitcoin and ether are commodities under the Commodity Exchange Act,” said Benham.

The topic of whether ether is a security or a commodity has been widely debated, particularly after reports that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was investigating the Ethereum Foundation’s sale of ether since its shift to a proof-of-stake consensus.

Ethereum infrastructure firm Consensys later confirmed that investigation had been closed, and the SEC’s approval of an ether-based spot ETF further reinforced the notion that the securities regulators’ stance on ether had officially shifted.

In the eyes of the wider crypto community, the CFTC being the market’s designated authority might be the lesser of two evils. On the surface, the agency appears to be better suited to regulate the space as it hass been less hostile toward the industry. The agency recently appointed Aptos CEO Mo Sheikh to its subcommittee on digital assets.

Based on Benham’s testimony, however, it seems like CFTC and SEC will work closely to oversee digital asset markets.

“I am confident that the two agencies will continue working closely, ensuring a reliable, fair, and efficient system for listing and trading of digital assets on regulated exchanges,”  Benham said