Former SEC chair: Regulation will determine future of crypto

Former US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Jay Clayton has cautioned that both domestic and international regulation will “drive digital assets”, in an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box this week.

Clayton appeared on the show to talk about the status of Bitcoin as a non-security and what it could mean for future regulation.

While he acknowledged that it had been a while since Bitcoin had been called a security, he also said this did not mean that new regulation wasn’t already on its way.

The sentiment is more or less shared by current SEC commissioner Hester Peirce who has called for more clarity in the way crypto is regulated.

Clayton wasn’t known for his active stance on Bitcoin and, as CNBC host Andrew Ross Sorkin said, SEC didn’t get actively involved with BTC and cryptocurrencies during Clayton’s stint.

The former chair explained that by the time he got on the job, Bitcoin was already not a security, hence limiting SEC’s involvement with it.

“Bitcoin was decided to be not a security before the time I got to the SEC. Therefore, the SEC’s jurisdiction over Bitcoin was rather indirect”, he said.

Clayton isn’t sure about what new laws may be coming to regulate the industry. Speaking as a “citizen” he said he believes that domestic and international laws will determine much of how cryptocurrencies evolve.

Clarity in regulation can have a positive effect on investment as well as retail spending. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are already offering wealth clients an opportunity to invest in cryptocurrencies.

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Updated: 04/05/2021 — 10:00