SEC Chairman Jay Clayton on Bitcoin: Not a Security, But More Regulation Needed

Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Jay Clayton, who will be stepping down from his position soon, attributed the sudden surge in Bitcoin this year to payment inefficiencies, which have become more apparent over time. Bitcoin is in the midst of an incredible bull run that is keeping prices above $18,000 as it rallies closer to its 2017 all-time-high (ATH) of $20,000 than ever before.

“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,” he said, speaking in an interview with CNBC.

As to whether Bitcoin should be regulated securities, Clayton was of the opinion that the bellwether cryptocurrency should be classified as a form of payments or a store-of-value than securities. 

The US crypto industry has had several run-ins with the SEC over digital assets and tokens being classified as securities using the Howey Test as a benchmark. Moreover, one of the challenges that businesses in the industry face is the lack of regulatory clarity and arbitrary judgements and charges imposed upon them by regulators.

There is hope for more detailed crypto regulations under the upcoming Biden Administration, as the 46th President-Elect has appointed former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Gary Gensler as financial adviser, and Gensler is no stranger to the crypto market. 

Several proposed bills are also on the table to revamp laws surrounding the crypto industry, although nothing concrete has yet been approved. Recently, the SEC raised crowdfunding limits for startups, allowing US crypto firms to raise funds from more channels outside of the VC route.

You may also want to read: Citibank Forecasts $318,000 Bitcoin Price by End 2021

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