Cryptocurrency ether soars 9% after SEC official says it's not a security

• The world's second largest cryptocurrency ether jumped roughly 9 percent Thursday after a key SEC official made it clear that it is not a security.

• Ether and other cryptocurrencies have maintained that they are not securities, and this was the first public SEC statement on ether's status specifically.

• "We don't see a lot of value in seeing ether as a security," William Hinman, head of the Division of Corporate Finance for the SEC, said at the Yahoo All Markets Summit: Crypto conference in San Francisco.

The world's second largest cryptocurrency spiked Thursday after a key Securities and Exchange Commission official made it clear that in the eyes of the agency, it's not a security.

The digital currency ether rose 8.8 percent to a high of $520.68, according to CoinDesk. Its price has struggled along with other cryptocurrencies this year, and has dropped about 35 percent since January.

While SEC leaders have publicly labeled bitcoin as a commodity, this is the first clear statement by the financial watchdog on how they plan to regulate ether.

"We don't see a lot of value in seeing ether as a security," William Hinman, head of the Division of Corporate Finance for the SEC, said at the Yahoo All Markets Summit: Crypto conference in San Francisco. "Ether is a coin that is evolving."

Hinman cited the cryptocurrency's decentralized and public network, and lack of a third party expecting to make a profit as reasons that the agency won't treat it like a security.

"In case of Ether as we interact with market participants, we keep gathering info and at some point we say this is something we should make clearer," he said.

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