SEC Chief Clayton: ‘Every ICO I’ve Seen Is a Security’


If SEC chairman Jay Clayton were to have his way, “I want to go back to separating ICOs and cryptocurrencies,” he said at the recent Senate Hearing that focused on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. “ICOs that are securities offerings, we should regulate them like we regulate securities offerings. End of story.”

This was the strong statement issued as lawmakers drilled into the subject. Even Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren raised her concerns when she asked Clayton if there had been any ICO to ever be subjected to SEC registration. To this, Clayton responded no.

Meanwhile, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown pointed out that as much as billions of dollars in cryptocurrencies were raised by ICOs from investors. However, there is no definitive way to determine how much of that amount was actually raised within the US.

“It’s hard to get a number on that because this has been conducted on largely an unregulated basis,” said Clayton. “But I imagine, Senator, a significant enough portion that we should be paying attention.

In a nutshell, Clayton would have preferred for the cryptocurrencies to be separated from digital assets that are obviously classifiable as securities under US law. “I’m very not happy that people are conducting ICOs when they should know they should follow the private placement plans.


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