Vitalik Buterin, a co-founder of Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency project by market cap, expressed his views on the recent actions taken by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against the crypto industry. Buterin specifically mentioned the inclusion of projects like Solana in these legal actions and emphasized that the real competition lies in the “centralized world.”
Vitalik Buterin Discusses SEC Crypto Enforcement Actions
Vitalik Buterin, a co-founder of Ethereum, recently shared his thoughts on the SEC’s enforcement actions against exchanges and cryptocurrency projects. In response to Matt Huang, the co-founder of Paradigm, a crypto investment firm based in California, Buterin responded:
“I feel bad that Solana and other projects are getting hit in this way. They don’t deserve it, and if Ethereum ends up ‘winning’ by having other blockchains removed from exchanges, that’s not an honorable way to win, and it may not even be a victory in the long term.”
Moreover, Buterin expressed concerns about the potential motives behind these actions, stating that “the real competition is not other chains, but the rapidly expanding centralized world that is imposing itself on us as we speak.” He wished other crypto projects a fair outcome in this situation.
Ethereum, Solana, and Their Classification
Solana, Cardano, Polygon, BNB, and other cryptocurrency projects are currently involved in legal cases with the SEC, which is targeting Coinbase and Binance, two major cryptocurrency exchanges. During these proceedings, SOL, the native token of Solana, a smart-contracts-enabled cryptocurrency project, has been classified as a security, potentially endangering its presence on U.S.-based exchanges unless it is registered beforehand.
However, the Solana Foundation, which aims to develop the Solana protocol into the world’s most censorship-resistant network, has expressed disagreement with the SEC’s characterization of SOL as a security.
The classification of Ether, the native token of the Ethereum network, is also a subject of debate. In a recent congressional hearing, SEC chairman Gary Gensler did not directly clarify whether ether is considered a security by the commission or not.
However, former SEC official William Hinman stated in a now-famous 2018 speech that, based on his understanding, “current offers and sales of ether are not securities transactions.” On March 9, 2023, the New York attorney general Letitia James filed a lawsuit against Kucoin, categorizing ether as a security.
JPMorgan analyst Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou believes that the release of the Hinman documents, including internal memos and emails discussing the speech, increases the likelihood of ether being classified as a commodity. He explains that this development could lead to a surge in decentralization.
What are your thoughts on Vitalik Buterin’s perspective regarding the SEC’s enforcement actions against crypto projects? Share your opinions in the comments section below.