SEC Wrangles Over Ethereum’s Status but Developers More Concerned with Scaling


As the US Securities Exchange Commission continues to debate over whether Ethereum qualifies as a security or not, developers go on about the business of pushing the network forward at a three-day gathering.

SEC Continues to Debate What Qualifies as a Security

Former Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Gary Gensler speaking at MIT Technology Review’s Business of Blockchain conference on Monday suggested that government officials need to be looking at the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, not just ICO’s, when deciding what should be classified as securities.

Speaking specifically about Ethereum and Ripple he continued to say “The SEC and regulators need to bring clarity, (many cryptocurrencies) are operating outside of U.S. laws.” as was reported in Bloomberg.

If the SEC decides that a cryptocurrency is a security it can then only be traded on registered exchanges within the U.S.

Those at the center of the debate, the developers and coders who make the Ethereum network run, didn’t seem to care much about the issue as they partied through a three-day gathering where scaling  took top billing.

Ethereum co-founder Joesph Lubin did address the security issue though indicating that he doesn’t care what the US SEC ultimately decides. Referring to a statement the Ethereum Foundation put out on April 25, Lubin said a digital asset is used to fuel applications on Ethereum, it is not an investment. The Ethereum statement in part reads as follows:

“(Ether) is like the gas in a vehicle that is relied upon for every action performed by thousands of independent applications, developers and users who themselves will determine the success and value of the Ethereum platform, the Foundation neither controls the supply of, nor has the ability to issue Ether,”

Scaling was the Major Issue at Three Day Conference

The majority of the attendees were more concerned with how the network will continue to grow and its ability to process more information faster. The main topic of discussion for developers was scaling solutions like sharding and plasma. Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum, said he sees “no fundamental roadblocks” for the implementation of sharding when he spoke to a panel on scaling issues.

Second to scaling was the discussion of Casper and the goal of changing from the energy intensive proof-of-work model to proof-of-stake. Attendees were encouraged to become Casper validators and the system of awards and punishments in the works were explained by Buterin himself.

The development of these technologies will determine whether Ethereum meets its goal of becoming a network capable of changing the way industries work.  “Most major blockchain projects have lawyers who are busy thinking about the regulatory changes, but developers will focus on building” said Maria Paula Fernandez, spokeswoman for Golem.