Is Ethereum Considered a Security? Prometheum Thinks So

By Aaron Feuerstein February 08, 2024 In Ethereum, SEC
Source: Adobe Stock
  • Ethereum could soon be classified as a digital asset security, a concept originally highlighted by former SEC Chair Jay Clayton.
  • Prometheum, a New York-based company, is strategically pushing for ETH to get this classification through its plan to launch custodial services for ETH.
  • This would position the company advantageously in the market and possibly prompt clearer regulatory guidelines for crypto.

The US by now has a history of confusing and somewhat arbitrary regulations around crypto – although nothing formal or crypto specific like the EU has with MiCA. But, as if that is not enough, Ethereum may soon be a digital asset security.

That is, by the way, a term the enigmatic head honcho of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, has used a lot lately. But it was likely the former chair, Jay Clayton, who coined the term.

In a speech at the Aspen Security Forum in August 2021, Gensler said:

I think former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said it well when he testified in 2018: ‘To the extent that digital assets like [initial coin offerings, or ICOs] are securities — and I believe every ICO I have seen is a security — we have jurisdiction, and our federal securities laws apply.’

Gary Gensler

Prometheum Only Player to Gain from ETH Being Designated Digital Asset Security

Now, New York-based Prometheum has announced its plans to launch custodial services for ETH. Prometheum’s manoeuvre is part of a broader attempt to nudge regulators towards classifying ETH as a security, an idea not exactly celebrated within the crypto sphere.


Despite the SEC’s hesitation to define Ethereum’s status, while labelling numerous other cryptocurrencies as securities, Prometheum’s latest venture might just force the agency to show its hand.

The company, founded by the Kaplan brothers, has already made headlines with its regulatory nods to operate as an alternative trading platform and a “special purpose broker-dealer for digital asset securities.”

This positioning is crucial, especially as they plan to launch a trading platform soon, potentially placing them at a significant advantage should the SEC indeed tag ETH as a security.Experts predict this move could compel the SEC to finally take a stance on Ethereum’s status, with implications for the broader industry’s regulatory landscape. Prometheum’s gamble, if successful, could redefine the compatibility of crypto with existing securities laws, offering a clearer path for institutional engagement in the crypto market.

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein is a freelance writer based in Melbourne. His focus is on decentralised finance and the regulatory space surrounding blockchain. He holds a Master's in Accounting. When he is not studying the latest legal case, he enjoys his time as a modest but eager hobby cook.

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