The SEC director who first spoke about 'sufficient decentralization' served his last day today

Friday is Bill Hinman's final day as the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Division of Corporation Finance director.

Hinman's departure was announced in late October, but the SEC did not disclose the exact date of his exit.

Hinman has led the division since May 2017, focusing on modernizing disclosure and securities offering frameworks. In his role as director, he created the Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub), which is now in the process of becoming a standalone office.


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Hinman was one of the first of the SEC to take a closer look at cryptocurrencies, when his 2018 speech "When Howey Met Gary" argued that digital assets with "sufficiently decentralized" networks don't fit under the umbrella of securities. The speech pointed to Ethereum as having a sufficiently decentralized structure.

In Friday's statement, fellow commissioners including Hester Peirce and Chairman Jay Clayton thanked Hinman for his work with the agency. 

"On his last day with the Commission, we would like to thank Bill Hinman for the thoughtful, measured, and sure-handed leadership he has provided to Corp Fin over the nearly four years he has been at its helm," the commissioners said in a statement. "During his time here, he has overseen an astounding number and variety of updates to our corporate disclosure regime."


About Author

Aislinn Keely is a reporter on The Block's policy team holding down the legal beat. She covers court decisions, bankruptcies, regulatory actions and other key moments in the legal sphere, putting them in context for the wider crypto industry. Before The Block, she lent her voice to the NPR affiliate WFUV and helmed Fordham University's student newspaper. Send tips or thoughts on all things policy and legal to or follow her on Twitter for updates @AislinnKeely.