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, last week, the SEC's director of Corporation Finance, William Hinman, told the audience at the Yahoo! All Markets Summit: Crypto conference 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."
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
The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.
Jiang Zhuoer: BTC.Top Will Support the Camp Favored by a Majority of Hash Power in the Bitcoin Cash Hash War
Jiang Zhuo’er and his BTC.TOP , a major Chinese mining pool, will not take side in the upcoming Bitcoin Cash’s hash war between two competing camps, Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin SV. Zhuo’er shared h
F2Pool Will Support the Mining of BCHABC and BCHSV after Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork
F2Pool, the sixth largest bitcoin mining pool in the world, announced on Tuesday that it will allow miners to mine both coins generated from the upcoming Bitcoin Cash hard fork after the chain split
IBM Says Blockchain Can Power 'Open Scientific Research' in New Patent Filing
A patent application published Thursday claims the process of conducting scientific research can benefit from the blockchain.
Led by a team at IBM's Watson Research Center, the patent application p
CFTC Fines Bitcoin Trader $1.1 Million for Crypto Fraud
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has jailed a bitcoin trader and fined him over $1 million for running a fraudulent bitcoin and litecoin scheme.
According to a press release iss
Japanese Firms Claim Success in Marine Insurance Blockchain Trial
One of Japan's largest insurance companies, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance, and IT firm NTT DATA have completed a trial that put the paperwork for marine cargo insurance claims on a blockchain.
Accenture Puts Software License Management on a Blockchain Platform
Global professional services giant Accenture has rolled out a new software license management application built with tech from distributed ledger startup Digital Asset.
Accenture announced in a pre
Singapore's Central Bank, SGX Develop Blockchain Settlement System
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the country's stock exchange, Singapore Exchange (SGX), have developed a settlement system for tokenized assets that can work across different blockchains
Colorado Regulators Crack Down on Four More ICOs
Colorado regulators took action against four ICOs Thursday, bringing the state's total number of cease-and-desist orders against crypto startups to 12.
The state's "ICO Task Force" rebuked Bitcoin