William Hinman, director of the Division of Corporation Finance at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, came to the attention of the cryptocurrency industry on June 14, 2018 when he said 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." The following November, Hinman told conference attendees at D.C. Fintech Week that the SEC intended to provide the cryptocurrency industry with "plain English" guidance on differentiating tokens that are securities from other types of coins and tokens for the purposes of U.S. securities laws.
Hinman was named director of the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance by the SEC in May 2017 after Hinman had spent 37 years in private legal practice. Hinman retired from a partnership with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett where he worked in their Silicon Valley office. Prior to that Hinman had been the managing partner of Shearman & Sterling's San Francisco office. During his private career Hinman advised public and private companies in corporate finance matters including in the technology and e-commerce areas.
At the SEC Hinman has advocated for measures to facilitate capital formation, including permitting many entities to file more information in their pre-IPO draft registration applications on a confidential basis.
Hinman is a graduate of Michigan State University. He received a law degree from Cornell University Law School, where he was a member of the Editorial Board of the Cornell Law Review.
We visit more than 100 websites daily for financial news (Would YOU do that?). Read the John Lothian Newsletter.