During the speech about rulemaking over the past year on December 6, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) chairman Jay Clayton expressed, that distributed ledger technology, digital assets and initial coin offerings (ICOs) are the areas where the Commission and staff have spent a significant amount of time.
In his speech SEC Chairman expects that huge effort put in DLT, ICO’s and the digital-assets regulation will continue as a trend in 2019.
Equality and Securities Laws Must Be Followed
Jay Clayton expressed that a number of concerns have been raised regarding the digital assets and ICO markets, including that, as they are currently operating, there is substantially less investor protection than in the traditional equities and fixed income markets, with correspondingly greater opportunities for fraud and manipulation.
To avoid this, SEC Chairman puts securities laws above the novel technological nature of an ICO thus eliminating ICOs as an effective way for entrepreneurs and others to raise capital.
He strictly holds the position that fundamental point when a security is being offered – securities laws must be followed. However, there are still many discussions about whether digital assets are the securities or not.
The Path to the Regulation
According to the official speech, SEC seeks ways to centralize and better coordinate the staff’s work on digital assets-related important issues.
This is why the SEC recently announced the formation of a new Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (“FinHub”) within the agency.
Staffed by representatives from across the Commission, the FinHub serves as a public resource for fintech-related issues at the SEC.
Jay Clayton concluded:
“As the FinHub and our other activities demonstrate, our door remains open to those who seek to innovate and raise capital in accordance with the law.”
Recently, during the live interview on CNBC Jay also indicated that Bitcoin ETF might be possible once cryptocurrencies will apply the required key upgrades.