Ether investors got a reprieve Thursday when a top U.S. regulator said transactions involving the token aren’t subject to federal securities rules, ending months of speculation that had weighed on the second-most traded digital currency. Ether and other coins surged on the news.
“Putting aside the fundraising that accompanied the creation of Ether, based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions,” William Hinman, who heads the SEC’s division of corporation finance, said in remarks prepared for a conference in San Francisco.
“And, as with Bitcoin, applying the disclosure regime of the federal securities laws to current transactions in Ether would seem to add little value,” Hinman added.
Ether rose 11 percent to $520.02 at 1:21 p.m. in New York.
Crypto enthusiasts have long worried that the SEC would crack down on Ether, which was originally offered in 2014 by the Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss nonprofit.