Since you can't eat [gold] when hungry, or wear it when cold, or cuddle under it in the rain, what "protection" does it provide? Because it does not pay interest or dividends, why should one prefer it over investments that do?
Is Bitcoin a "futures contract?" Maybe. A futures contract is not defined in the CEA specifically, but it has been defined in the courts as a commitment to deliver or receive an asset - including U.S. dollars - in the future at a pre-agreed price.
It hardly makes sense for the CFTC to pursue an appeal from a federal district court decision invalidating an earlier rule on speculative position limits when it is on the cusp of enacting new rules on the subject that (hopefully) will pass muster in the courts.
As we approach two potential national crises — a government shut-down and a default on federal debt — fertile minds will shift toward whether there is a financial tool to alleviate those risks. Futures contracts and options have long served as mitigators of risk. Why not here?