- Fox Business’ Charles Gasparino agrees that Ether could be the SEC’s next target.
- This is following Gary Gensler and Jay Clayton’s recent discussion on the regulation of the crypto market.
- Ether still lacks regulatory clarity and could be open to an SEC crackdown.
The cryptocurrency community is still avidly watching how regulation of the industry by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) plays out. One keen observer, Fox Business’ Charles Gasparino seems to think that the SEC will not relent in its aggressive approach towards crypto.
The journalist has been a follower of the SEC’s fray with Ripple. In a recent discussion, he concurred with the view held by XRP defender John Deaton who thinks the SEC would target Ethereum next if the case with Ripple was settled in the regulator’s favor.
Gasparino points out several indicators that signal this. For one, the present and former leadership at the apex regulatory body seem to be well aligned over the status of Ripple’s XRP being a security. This is following a recent discussion held by the present SEC chair Gary Gensler, and his predecessor Jay Clayton at the Digital Asset Compliance and Market Integrity Summit in New York where they seemed to share tips on how the sector should be regulated.
The two seemed to share the view that Bitcoin was not a security, but Ripple/XRP was. Where their opinion deviated from each other was on Ethereum. Gasparino thinks that Gensler is waiting for Ripple’s case to be settled before he reveals his stance on Ethereum.
“I think he’s waiting for the Ripple case to determine whether to go back to deeming Ethereum, to be honest with you. That’s how crazy it gets,” he said.
Why Ether could be SEC’s next target
The Ethereum blockchain network and its native token ETH have been regularly brought up in the case with Ripple. The executives, legal team, and supporters of Ripple have consistently raised the question of why Ether should get a free pass from the SEC while Ripple was taken to court. Much of the controversy has stemmed from William Hinman, the former director of corporate finance at the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission, whose famous speech declared Ether to no longer be a security.
In the proceedings of the Ripple case, the SEC has distanced itself from the speech, calling it the opinion of Hinman and not the SEC. This is one of the reasons why key players including attorney John Deaton have noted that the question of if Ether is truly not deemed to be a security by the SEC still needs to be answered.
One other significant contributor to the discussion has been Joseph Grundfest, a former SEC commissioner. Grundfest has noted that if the SEC handled XRP as a security then it should give the same treatment to Ether. His major reason is that the commission has failed to give “material distinction between the operation of Ether and of XRP that is relevant to the application of the federal securities laws.”
This lack of clarity leaves Ether open to being targeted by the SEC. According to attorney Jeremy Hogan, the SEC may even have more reason to go after Ether come ETH 2.0 where the blockchain plans to become a proof-of-stake network.