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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Speaking on Thursday at Yahoo Finance's All Markets Summit in San Francisco, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission director of Corporate Finance William Hinman said that digital token ether is not a security.

Why it matters: The digital currency industry has been awaiting for more regulatory clarity for some time, particularly around widely popular cryptocurrencies like ether and bitcoin. SEC chairman Jay Clayton recently said that the latter is akin to a currency, much to the relief of the industry.

Note: While Hinman declared ether not a security, he was careful to specify that he's referring to the token today.

  • "Putting aside the fundraising that accompanied the creation of Ether... current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions, " he said. "Over time, there may be other sufficiently decentralized networks and systems where regulating the tokens or coins that function on them as securities may not be required," he added, echoing recent comments by SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce who also posited that some digital tokens may seem like securities when first issued, but could change in status over time.
  • This is important as it signals that it's not a blanket pass for all tokens, and that the commission will be focused on issuance of tokens and how they fit in with securities laws.

Still in question: Whether Ripple's XRP token is considered a security or not.

Go deeper

Narrowing the employee divide

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Companies are narrowing the blue- and white-collar experience as they're forced to adapt to a worker-led market.

Driving the news: Basic office tools and concepts like corporate communications and schedule flexibility are migrating to frontline operations through investments in technology.

43 mins ago - Health

U.S. to buy 500 million more Pfizer doses to share with the world

A nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

The Biden administration is planning to purchase 500 million more Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine doses to donate to the world, officials said in an op-ed Wednesday.

Why it matters: The move represents a big step toward making the U.S. a major global vaccine supplier just as China has ramped up exports of its Sinopharm, Sinovac and CanSino vaccines, which can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures.

D.C.'s building boom grinds to a halt

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The decades-long building boom that remade Washington D.C. is screeching to a halt, undone by broader construction trends and the legacy of the post-pandemic workplace.

Why it matters: Dizzying construction has reshaped the city, reinvigorated downtown and created bustling new communities.