The price of ether, the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network, has fallen below $500 for the first time this year. The decline comes days after a senior official from the Securities and Exchange Commission acknowledged that the agency had “dozens” of open investigations into initial coin offerings. The price of ether has fallen 19 percent in the last 24 hours, from $580 to $470.
“We’re doing obviously a lot in the crypto space, and we’re seeing a lot in the crypto space,” said Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, at a conference on Thursday. “We are very active, and I would just expect to see more and more.”
The SEC’s decision to aggressively police cryptocurrency offerings is particularly significant for the Ethereum community because many new cryptocurrency offerings are built on top of the Ethereum platform. People creating a new token on the Ethereum blockchain need to buy ether, the currency used to pay for Ethereum transactions. So if aggressive SEC enforcement ends the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) boom—which seems to be cooling anyway—it would remove a major factor that pushed ether’s value upward during 2017.