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Is Ethereum (ETH) a Security? Ex-SEC Boss Weighs In

Fri, 04/21/2023 - 16:15
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Alex Dovbnya
Former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton weighed in on contentious issue of Ethereum (ETH) being classified as security during recent CNBC Squawk Box interview
Is Ethereum (ETH) a Security? Ex-SEC Boss Weighs In
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In a recent interview on CNBC's Squawk Box, former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton provided his insight into the ongoing debate about whether Ethereum (ETH) should be considered a security.

This comes after Clayton himself brought a lawsuit against Ripple during his tenure, alleging that the company had conducted an unregistered securities offering.

During the interview, Clayton discussed the approach taken by European regulators toward cryptocurrencies, highlighting their willingness to incorporate the technology into the regulatory system.

He pointed out that the current method of relying on the courts to resolve classification issues around securities and commodities is inefficient. Clayton also agreed with current SEC Chairman Gary Gensler that a significant portion of cryptocurrencies could fall under the purview of securities.

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When asked by CNBC's Becky Quick about Ethereum's status as a potential unregistered security, Clayton used a Broadway play analogy to illustrate his point. He argued that initial investments in the play's production, with the promise of future ticket returns, could be considered securities.

However, once the play becomes successful and tickets are sold at the box office, they are no longer securities but merely tickets. Applying this logic to Ethereum, Clayton suggested that it has more characteristics of a "ticket" than a means to raise money, though he admitted that he did not know all the facts surrounding the matter.

The debate surrounding Ethereum's regulatory status is ongoing. While Gensler has repeatedly dodged questions about the second biggest cryptocurrency, he has repeatedly implied that all proof-of-stake coins are securities.

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About the author

Alex Dovbnya (aka AlexMorris) is a cryptocurrency expert, trader and journalist with extensive experience of covering everything related to the burgeoning industry — from price analysis to Blockchain disruption. Alex authored more than 1,000 stories for U.Today, CryptoComes and other fintech media outlets. He’s particularly interested in regulatory trends around the globe that are shaping the future of digital assets, can be contacted at