US Congressman: SEC's Stance on Ether Is 'Encouraging'

Republican Congressman Tom Emmer has praised the SEC for its recent comment indicating that ether is not a security.

AccessTimeIconJun 22, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:05 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Congressman Tom Emmer has praised the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for clarifying that ethereum's native cryptocurrency, ether, is not a security.

As previously reported, the SEC's director of Corporation Finance, William Hinman, told the audience at the Yahoo! All Markets Summit: Crypto conference last week that "current offers and sales of ether are not securities transactions."

With ethereum having built an ecosystem around its blockchain and smart contacts platform, a decision that its token must be governed under securities law in the U.S. – as suggested by some in the regulatory space – could have presented major difficulties for the project.

To gauge his reaction to the SEC comment, CoinDesk reached out to Emmer, a Republican who has previously spoken of the need to not over-regulate blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

"Like many of the innovations generated from these new technologies, ether does not fit neatly into the regulatory boxes Washington has created," Emmer told CoinDesk in a statement.

The Minnesota Congressman continued:

"Director Hinman's comments are encouraging, specifically his suggestion that the decentralized and useful nature of certain technologies may provide a means toward regulatory certainty, even for assets which once may have been considered a security."

Further, he said he appreciated "the light-touch approach the SEC and other regulators have taken so far."

Echoing that view recently was acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Mick Mulvaney, who told an audience at the Future of Fintech conference on Wednesday that over-burdensome regulation is not good for the nascent industry.

While Mulvaney did not address the SEC's ether comment directly, he said "we knew at an early point in bitcoin that, as with any developing financial technology, we needed to find that sweet spot."

"If we over-regulate and discourage people from entering the marketplace, that has bad consequences too," he said.

While some laws are helpful, in that they provide consumer protections, others may have an "absurd result" when applied to financial technology, Mulvaney said, adding that he considers it his role to "identify and prevent" such issues from occurring.

Emmer concluded on a similar note, indicating he was hopeful that regulators will "take further steps to assure limited regulation and encourage investment here in the United States."

Annaliese Milano contributed reporting to this report.

Tom Emmer image via Shutterstock

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.