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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

1 hour ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The massive early vote

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Saturday had already reached 65.5% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat.
  2. World: Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  5. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.