Ethereum Foundation Under Investigation From Unnamed Govt Agency



The Ethereum Foundation, the non-profit entity at the heart of the Ethereum ecosystem, is under investigation by an unknown state authority. 

Reports claim a Swiss regulator may have served the document request to the foundation in collaboration with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ethereum Foundation Facing Inquiry 

According to a comment on the Ethereum Foundation’s GitHub repository, the foundation received a voluntary inquiry from an unnamed state authority that included a confidentiality requirement. However, details regarding the scope of the investigation or the reasons behind it have not been disclosed so far. 

“We have received a voluntary inquiry from a state authority that included a requirement for confidentiality.”

Previously, the Ethereum Foundation’s website contained a disclosure that stated the foundation had never been contacted by any agency, which required that contact not be disclosed. The footer and the website’s warrant canary were removed during the 26th February GitHub commit. A warrant canary is a text or visual warning included by some websites to indicate a document request or a secret government subpoena has never been served to them. 

“The Ethereum Foundation (Stiftung Ethereum) has never been contacted by any agency anywhere in the world in a way that requires that contact not be disclosed. Stiftung Ethereum will publicly disclose any sort of inquiry from government agencies that falls outside the scope of regular business operations.”

Possible Explanations 

According to reports, a lawyer familiar with the developments has speculated that a Swiss regulator may have served a document request to the Ethereum Foundation. The lawyer also speculated that the request could indicate a collaboration between the named entity and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. 

“I also think it’s fair to say the Ethereum Foundation is not the only entity that they are seeking information from. Any rumors of any activity that the SEC and its overseas counterparts are engaging in may be correlated with the May 23 deadline the SEC faces.”

Following the reports, an article confirmed that the Securities and Exchange Commission was pursuing an “energetic legal campaign” to classify Ethereum as a security. The SEC had started a probe after the network switched to a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism.

A Crucial Moment For Ethereum 

The investigation comes at a pivotal moment for Ethereum, which is undergoing significant technical changes. The network recently successfully implemented the Dencun upgrade, which will significantly reduce transaction costs for users on Ethereum-based Layer2 platforms. There is considerable activity on the regulatory front as well, with the Securities and Exchange Commission evaluating multiple spot Ethereum applications, with some having a deadline of May 23. However, ETF analysts James Seyffart and Eric Balchunas have expressed skepticism about the likelihood of approval, pointing at a lack of engagement between the applicants and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Balchunas stated, 

“Our odds of eth ETF approval by the May deadline are down to 35%. I get all the reasons they SHOULD approve it (and we personally believe they should), but all the signs/sources that were making us bullish 2.5mo out for BTC spot are not there this time. Note: 35% isn’t 0%, still poss, and long-term we think it will happen.”

Seyffart, too, remained skeptical, stating, 

“My cautiously optimistic attitude for ETH ETFs has changed from recent months. We now believe these will ultimately be denied on May 23 for this round. The SEC hasn’t engaged with issuers on Ethereum specifics. The exact opposite of #Bitcoin ETFs this fall.”

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.



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