SEC Chairman, Jay Clayton still concerned for retail investors

The recent interview of the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) Chairman, Jay Clayton, taken by FOX Business revealed that the chairman is eager to know about the state’s position in the field of digital currency and raised his concern about the illicit acts committed by attackers.

Clayton defended his stand on the digital currency, stating that he is not against the digital asset but is actually anxious about investor protection when it comes to the commission approving a Bitcoin (BTC) Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF). He stated that he is only worried about the probable manipulation associated with the asset.

He added that “What I’m concerned about at the moment is if it can be reasonably demonstrated that the underlying trading is generally not manipulated, it’s happening on reliable venues with good rules and that custody is something we can feel comfortable about.”

Clayton had gained criticism during the last year when he had disapproved the proposals from Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to form the first ever bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The ETF’s would enable the retail investors to start trading cryptocurrencies publicly on markets owned by the New York Stock Exchange and others.

Various companies still have their applications open with the SEC. During the beginning of this year, the Chicago Board Option Exchange and SolidX re-presented their application for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund. Similarly, Bitwise Asset Management also presented its proposal in the previous month that claimed to assist in solving the regulatory issues from regulators.

The department has not yet given any decision with regards to both the presented proposals till now. Though Clayton did not mention about any application, in particular, he observed that there “may be a case where a bitcoin ETF could satisfy our rules.”

He stated that “I think this technology has and is already demonstrating pretty significant promise, but it’s demonstrating significant promise in the places where it’s consistent with our approach to capital raising in the past.”

However, Clayton has shown subtle signs of accepting the digital currency.

In a letter to Rep. Ted Budd, He further added that Ether, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, cannot be treated as a security and thereby emphasized the thoughts which were given by the SEC Director of Corporate Finance William Hinman thereby giving a hint that digital currencies may avoid strict regulations regulated by the department.

However, till now Clayton is not ready to accept a bitcoin ETF and this refusal to approve a bitcoin ETF has attracted criticism from congressional Republicans and other conservatives who were expecting the agency to approve the ETF and see the digital currency in a more forward-looking approach.

“One might expect more active leadership from regulators who have said that this will not be business as usual,” the libertarian Cato Institute’s Diego Zuluaga recently stated to Reuters.

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