In a series of highly publicized tweets, Steven Nerayoff, former advisor to Ethereum, has revealed many facts that could potentially shake the very foundations of the Ethereum network. The tweets hint at internal discord and possibly even legal discrepancies, with accusations levied against Ethereum co-founders Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Lubin.

Bill Morgan hinted that Ethereum could receive only two “free passes” in regulatory clearances. According to Morgan, the first clearance could be connected to Ethereum’s ICO in 2014 and the second to the famous Hinman speech in June 2018, which clarified Ethereum’s standing regarding securities regulations.

Not saying at all that @StevenNerayoff is suggesting this, but imagine if there have been two free passes connected to Ethereum. The first in 2014 connected to the ICO, and the second, the Hinman speech, in June 2018 for all other sales. What is in the Lubin piece of paper?

— bill morgan (@Belisarius2020) September 27, 2023

This raises two questions: What exactly is in Joseph Lubin’s “piece of paper” that he has bragged about? Could it be the first of two such regulatory blessings that Ethereum has received?

Also Read: New FOIA Request Explores Potential Conflicts of Interest at the SEC

What is Lubin’s ‘Piece of Paper’?

Joseph Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum and founder of ConsenSys, is portrayed as the legal mastermind behind Ethereum’s initial coin offering (ICO) in 2014. Lubin has recorded that they had “a piece of paper in our pocket before we launched the token sale.” But what exactly is the nature of this paper? Is it an opinion letter from a law firm or something far more significant like a ‘no-action’ letter from the SEC, as some speculate?

Lubin said this document was secured before launching Ethereum’s Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in 2014 to provide some legal assurance. 

The importance of this ‘piece of paper’ cannot be overstated. If it’s a legal document such as a ‘no-action’ letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it would mean that Ethereum had a regulatory green light even before the ICO. Such a document would potentially exempt Ethereum from being classified as a security, avoiding many legal complications.

I got here as soon as I could. Turns out I thought I was helping some people create a better world who repaid me by trying to imprison me for 4 years to bury their sins with a little help from their 3 letter friends. They never thought I’d be back…@SECGov @DOJPH @FBI…

— Steven Nerayoff (@StevenNerayoff) September 22, 2023

What’s Behind this Mysterious Paper?

This ‘piece of paper’ could fall into a spectrum of possibilities. On the one hand, it could be an opinion letter from a law firm, like Pryor Cashman LLP, where Jeffrey E. Alberts & Bertrand Fry work. These lawyers are known to have been in contact with Lubin in 2014, as revealed in Steven Nerayoff’s tweets. An opinion letter would offer protection but wouldn’t be foolproof against regulatory actions.

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On the other hand, if this ‘piece of paper’ turns out to be an official clearance from the SEC or any other regulatory body, it could fundamentally alter the discourse around Ethereum’s legality and set a precedent for future blockchain projects.

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Elena R

Elena is an expert in technical analysis and risk management in cryptocurrency market. She has 10+year experience in writing – accordingly she is avid journalists with a passion towards researching new insights coming into crypto erena.