Director of US Security and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance, William (Bill) Hinman has decided to leave SEC later this year, according to the agency’s notice published today.
After joining SEC in 2017, Hinman has so far led SEC’s early work with digital assets, initial coin offering (ICO), and contributed to providing evaluations whether cryptocurrencies qualified as securities. At that time, emergence of cryptocurrencies had caused a period of intense scrutiny and regulatory review – which led to popularization of the “Howey” test to determine when an asset is a regulated security. In fact, in that regard, in mid-2018, Hinman had announced that Ether was not a security and stated that:
…Based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions. And, as with Bitcoin, applying the disclosure regime of the federal securities laws to current transactions in Ether would seem to add little value.
Hinman also oversaw SEC’s 2018 launch of the Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology, or FinHub, which offers resources on federal securities laws.
Further, in a separate post, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said that Hinman had provided the Chairman with advice on issues regarding the emergence of crypto, the disclosure of cybersecurity risks and incidents, among others.
After Hinman’s exit from the SEC, the current Deputy Director of Corp Fin, Shelley Parratt will serve as the “Acting” Director of the Division of Corporation Finance.