Cryptocurrency rise has turned heads around the globe, and while financial investors are scrambling to get on the gravy train, financial regulators are faced with new challenges. The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission has constantly been making headlines for its close scrutiny of digital assets. The regulatory body had filed a case against Ripple back in December, claiming that it was in fact a security, not a commodity, due to its centralized nature.
Now it seems that Ether could also be in hot waters with the SEC over its nature. Contrary to the previous belief that both Bitcoin and Ethereum are commodities, the commission now says that it hasn’t taken any official position on the two Cryptocurrencies. The uncertainty can be particularly problematic for Ethereum because while the previous chairman repeatedly verified that Bitcoin is a commodity, the position on Ethereum remained much less clear.
William Hinman, the former director of the watchdog’s division of corporation finance, did once say that Ether wasn’t centralized and hence was not a security. However, according to the current officials, that does not necessarily mean that the agency takes a similar position on the matter.
Words of the former official don’t carry much weight because the new chairman Gary Gensler has questioned Ether’s status in the past. He called both Ethereum and Ripple “non-compliant securities” in a New York Times interview back in 2018.