The outgoing chair of the SEC, Jay Clayton, who oversaw the rejection of nine Bitcoin ETFs during his tenure, has told CNBC that “inefficiencies” in current payment systems continue to drive Bitcoin’s popularity.
In its appearance Yesterday on CNBC’s Squawk Box show, Clayton, who is planning backing out at the end of the year, he confirmed his agency’s overall assessment that Bitcoin was not a security, but rather a payment mechanism and a store of value.
“We determined that Bitcoin was not a security, it was a payment mechanism and a store of value,” says SEC Chairman Jay Clayton of #btc. “Our current payment mechanisms … have inefficiencies … those inefficiencies are the things that are driving the bitcoin boom.” pic.twitter.com/3r1mxzfgpi
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) November 19, 2020
The president has been heavily criticized by the Bitcoin community for keeping a tight grip on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. But nevertheless, During his years as chairman of the SEC, Clayton was never a staunch opponent of Bitcoin in principle, but regularly expressed his fear that average investors could be subject to unnecessary risk when investing in a Bitcoin ETF.
This risk is due to the perception from the SEC that the largely unregulated nature of some Bitcoin exchanges makes it too easy to manipulate the price of BTC. With Clayton out as SEC chairman, some Bitcoin advocates believe that the chance of a Bitcoin ETF being approved is now higher than ever.
Newsflash: SEC Chairman Jay Clayton will step down in December. This is a big thing for cryptocurrency regulation. Clayton’s successor will eventually approve or deny a Bitcoin ETF. Hopefully the new president understands the innovation.
— Yano (@JasonYanowitz) November 16, 2020
Clayton believes that Bitcoin will continue to grow, as regulations evolve.
What we are seeing is that our current payment mechanisms, nationally and internationally, have inefficiencies. Those inefficiencies are what are driving the rise of Bitcoin … and we’re going to see more of that. We are going to see this mature and we are going to see more regulation around the digital payments space.
Clayton was the first member of the SEC to issue a warning on the possible dangers of investing in ICOs during the ‘ICO craze’ in 2017, reminding the public that such products were usually considered securities offerings and were subject to accompanying regulations.
“We do not regulate Bitcoin as a security, “Clayton said, explaining that BTC was” more of a payment mechanism and stored value “than a security.
When people use crypto assets as securities to raise capital for a company, the SEC regulates that. And what was happening in the “ICO craze” was that people were using them and essentially making offerings of public securities without registering them with the SEC.
Clayton was nominated for the SEC presidency by President Donald Trump in January 2017, and will step down as one of the agency’s longest-serving presidents. In June 2020, Trump nominated Clayton to replace the outgoing United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, a position that dice have sought out a strong desire to continue his career in public service.
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