The Securities and Exchange Commission is currently mulling over a decision to greenlight EtherIndex Ether Trust's exchange-traded fund.
SEC acceptance of an ETF based in Ether would signal a victory for players in the industry seeking acknowledgement from central banking corporations and legislative bodies, both of which have a strong influence over the policies and regulation of the virtual currency ecosystem.
On Friday, the SEC released a statement indicating that the commission had published proposed rule changes that would allow such a listing for comment in February, but had received none. The statement went on to delineate Ether from bitcoins:
"The Exchange represents that unlike bitcoin, ether was not designed to function purely as a store of value. Instead, ether was meant to pay for specific actions on the Ethereum Network. However, according to the Exchange, ether’s market is currently supported by many of the same online exchanges and the same infrastructure that has developed around the bitcoin network."
Currently under a separate review is a proposal that the SEC previously rejected in March, as reported by ETHNews. Gemini Exchange founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss sought approval to trade bitcoin as a security on the BATZ BZX Exchange Inc and filed for a review of the rejection following the SEC ruling. On Monday, the SEC opened the forum for statements for or against or the action until May 15.
The decisions will either herald overarching policy changes in the United States as virtual currencies are widely adapted to suit many purposes, or will force those pushing approval to go back to the drawing board.