Cboe Global Markets may now be close to launching an ether futures product, following a recent comment from a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) official indicating that the agency doesn't consider ethereum's native cryptocurrency a security.
On Thursday, the SEC's director of corporation finance William Hinman notably said that, based on his understanding of "the ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of ether are not securities transactions."
The news was today welcomed by Chris Concannon, president and COO at Cboe, who said in a statement that the exchange is "pleased with the SEC's decision to provide clarity" around the issue – a cloud that has been hanging over ethereum since April, when a former regulator suggested that ether and the Ripple-linked cryptocurrency XRP were both securities.
Concannon continued to say:
"This announcement clears a key stumbling block for ether futures, the case for which we've been considering since we launched the first bitcoin futures in December 2017."
In previous comments this past December, Concannon also suggested the Cboe might also launch bitcoin cash futures sometime in the future.
Ethereum futures are already live on another platform - the U.K.-based startup Crypto Facilities launched the product last month. Crypto Facilities is notably a partner with CME Group, and is powering the latter's Ether Reference Rate Index. A similar bitcoin index helped CME launch bitcoin futures last year.
After news of Hinman's comment broke, the price of ether spiked around $70 to over $520, though by press time it had returned to $494.
Ether and U.S. dollars image via Shutterstock