The speech by William Hinman at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit which declares that “putting aside the fundraising” of Ethereum’s ICO, ether is not a security.
Hinman then commented on his own speech moments after giving it, saying that the speech was given because “the chairman and the SEC” felt they had to “be clearer” and “transparent” and give “guidance” about ether.
Hinman is also asked by the moderator about his mention of ether: “Is the takeaway that these are not securities then?” Hinman answers: “Right. I think the takeaway and maybe the news is more on the ether side.” This makes it clear that Hinman was well aware during the drafting of the speech that his mention of Ethereum would be noticed by the news media and the markets.
The SEC’s legal staff has frequently cited this speech to affirm in official SEC legal documents that “the Commission has publicly recognized Ethereum and its native currency Ether.”
Court filings indicate drafts of the speech were attached to at least 63 SEC emails before it was final, involving at least 38 senior SEC staff members in the drafting process.
After suing Ripple, the SEC and Hinman disowned this speech as being market guidance from the SEC, arguing it was only Hinman’s “personal opinion”.
Sources: BankXRP, @CryptolawUS and @Leerzeit