The current chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is Jay Clayton, but he will be stepping down from his position at the end of the year. Within his tenure, Clayton saw a total of nine Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) get rejected. He went on record with CBDC regarding the inefficiencies of the current payment system, which caused BTC’s popularity to surge. He made an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box, where he shed some light on the assessment his agency had been regarding Bitcoin. The chairman said that the SEC doesn’t consider Bitcoin to be a security.
Instead, the regulator regards it as a payment mechanism and as a store of value. As expected, the negative perception of cryptocurrencies that has been taken by the SEC, along with its Chairman, has drawn a lot of criticism from the crypto community as a whole. During Clayton’s time as the chair of the financial regulator, the SEC did keep the crypto industry of a short leash and continued their crackdown, but it appears that Clayton himself is not explicitly against these digital assets, especially when it comes to Bitcoin. As a matter of fact, the man was only concerned about the risks that were associated with Bitcoin ETFs for the average investors, when they decide to make investments in them.
This perceived risk is mostly because the SEC considers some of the notable Bitcoin exchanges in the industry as unregulated. Therefore, it is possible to manipulate the price of Bitcoin within these exchanges, which can inflict a lot of damage on the investors of these exchanges. However, not that Clayton will finally be stepping down from his position as the Chairman of the SEC, there are some in the Bitcoin community who are hoping that the agency will issue their approval for a Bitcoin ETF in the future.
In fact, even Clayton commented about it and said that Bitcoin would continue to grow and the regulations surrounding it would have to evolve in order to keep up. He explained that there were inefficiencies in the domestic and international payment mechanisms that exist in the US, which has made Bitcoin a popular alternative. He expects to see a continued surge in Bitcoin’s popularity, as the market will mature and regulations relating to digital payments will increase. The Chairman himself was the first member of the SEC to begin issuing warnings about ICO investing and the various pitfalls, which he had done so during the ICO bubble back in 2017.
He warned the public that these offerings were generally regarded as securities, which meant that they had to be subject to the regulations that accompany them. Bearing this in mind, Clayton said that Bitcoin really wasn’t a security and it was valued more as a payment mechanism and store of value. The difference is simply in the way these crypto-assets are used. Since the SEC is responsible for regulating securities, they have to regulate crypto as well when it is used as securities for raising venture capital.