Jay Clayton, outgoing Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said in an interview that Bitcoin was not a security, it was more like a stored value and a payment mechanism.
In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Clayton accepted inefficiencies in the current payment mechanism and added that the weak links in the payment structure are helping the rise of Bitcoin.
Sounding more optimistic about the future of cryptocurrencies, Clayton mentioned that the crypto market will mature by the time with more regulations around the digital payment space.
In the past, Clayton criticized Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and kept a tight rein on digital assets. Under his leadership, the SEC has blocked several ETFs from launching. However, in 2020, that stance has changed a little bit as it is more like a risk assessment than a complete ban.
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“What we are seeing is that our current payment mechanisms, domestically and internationally, have inefficiencies. Those inefficiencies are the things that are driving the rise of Bitcoin… And we’re gonna see more of that. We’re gonna see this mature and we’re gonna see more regulation around the digital payment space,” Clayton said.
Not a Security
Clayton repeatedly said that Bitcoin was not a security as it was more like a payment mechanism. While talking about the ICO craze of 2017, Clayton mentioned that ICOs raised capital without even registering with the Commission. “When people use crypto assets as securities to raise capital for a venture, the SEC regulates that. And what was happening in the ICO craze was people were using ICOs and essentially making offerings of public securities without registering them with the SEC,” he added.
Earlier this month, the SEC Chairman confirmed his plan to conclude tenure by the end of this year. The crypto community feels that Clayton’s successor will ultimately approve or deny a Bitcoin ETF.