William Hinman, Director of Corporate Finance at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said at the DC Fintech Week conference that the SEC is planning to publish clearer guidance regarding ICOs. The anticipated guidance would allow ICOs to determine whether their token could be classified as a security or not. Mr. Hinman said that before the guidance is published, any projects that are unsure whether their token qualifies as a security can get in touch with SEC's Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub), which can rapidly answer any questions about securities and security offerings.
Mr. Hinman hinted at one of the conditions: "If someone's offering an instrument for money or other consideration to a third party, and that third party expects the offerer to generate a return or so something that will increase the value of the coin or token or whatever they want to call it, and there's that expectation of return, we're generally going to see that as a securities offering." Hinman previously also stated that ether isn't a security because it is sufficiently decentralized. (Source: Coindesk)