In a recent tweet, John Reed Stark, former chief of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Internet Enforcement, has suggested that Bitcoin could be an unregistered security.
After seeing a Twitter thread by Ethereum advocate Evan Van Ness about Bitcoin mining centralization, Stark responded with "And how is it again that bitcoin is not a security which requires SEC registration?"
In his Twitter thread, Van Ness notes that 850 of the last 1,000 blocks produced on the Bitcoin blockchain have been mined by just five entities: Antpool, FoundryUSA, f2pool, ViaBTC and Binance. Data suggests that these entities account for more than 80% of total block production, and over 50% of production is divided between only two entities — namely, Antpool and FoundryUSA.
According to SEC, a security could be stocks, bonds and other related instruments that include shares in a company or an investment contract. It is believed that Bitcoin does not meet the definition of a security since it is decentralized, meaning that nobody owns or controls it. It is also not centrally issued or traded on any established market or exchange. Therefore, it is not subject to the requirements of registration with the SEC as a security.
As reported by U.Today, Bitcoin proponents were elated when U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler boldly reaffirmed his belief that Bitcoin (BTC) is a commodity earlier this year. Gensler's remarks seemingly confirmed a popular view that Bitcoin should be seen independently from other tokens labeled as "crypto."
However, there is still a lot of uncertainty regarding the regulatory status of Ethereum. Gensler previously mentioned that the vast majority of tokens are unregistered securities.