SEC crypto gladius network ico
Crypto startup Gladius Network tattled on itself to the SEC before the US regulatory agency could bring down the hammer on the illegal ICO issuer. | Source: Shutterstock

A top official at the US Securities and Exchange Commission said that ether — the native currency of the Ethereum network — is not a security according to federal guidelines.

Speaking on Thursday at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit: Crypto, William Hinman, director of the SEC’s division of corporate finance, said that, at least “as currently structured,” ether will not be regulated as a security by the SEC.

“When we think about how ether today is operating, at least, we see a highly decentralized” network, not the type of centralized actor that characterizes securities offerings, Hinman said. “In its current state, we don’t see value regulating it.”

He noted that despite the way ether was initially issued — throw an ICO-style crowdsale — the network had become sufficiently decentralized that it no longer had a controlling party, adding that assets originally sold as securities have the potential to lose that designation down the road.

Previously, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton had said that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are not securities, though the agency had not definitively named any other coins that would be deemed currencies and not securities.

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