Are U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission officials preparing to shut down Ethereum? Given the threats made by government officials, notably SEC chairman Gary Gensler, it is entirely plausible.
In September, the agency went on a crypto-regulatory run. At the SEC’s annual The SEC Speaks conference, officials vowed to continue taking enforcement proceedings and encouraged market players to register their services and products. Gensler even proposed that crypto intermediaries should split into different legal organizations and register each of their roles — exchange, broker-dealer, custodial duties, etc.
Gensler spoke before different Senate Committees on proposed measures to reform crypto regulation, reaffirming his opinion that substantially all digital assets are securities and indirectly backing his position that such digital assets and associated intermediaries should register with the SEC.
But arguably the most ground-shaking missiles were fired when the SEC took aim at Ethereum, potentially undoing a years-long peace that started when a former SEC official claimed that Ether (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC) were not securities.
current stances on Ethereum seem to be a clear case of SEC overreach and a continuation of the agency’s efforts to encourage the sector to register.
In 2018, William Hinman then-Director of Corporation Finance at the SEC made the official statement that Bitcoin and Ether did not qualify as securities. This seemed to stem from the distinction between cryptocurrencies (which serve as substitutes for national currencies) and digital tokens (which serve as assets related to a particular business) and the fact that Ethereum was suitably decentralized.
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