Former Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, has stated that Bitcoin has not been classified as security for a long time.
But speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box on March 31, Clayton warned that his status as a non-security guard still doesn’t protect him from the imposition of new rules that, he warned, could come soon.
“Where digital assets land at the end of the day – will be driven in part by both national and international regulation, and I expect there will be both direct and indirect regulation in this area,” said former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. #bitcoin pic.twitter.com/voWcgCFqOH
– Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) April 1, 2021
Host Andrew Ross Sorkin pointed out that the SEC under Clayton’s leadership did not take a position on Bitcoin regulation. Clayton replied that the reason was that the asset was not considered collateral before he even took up his position as head of the regulator.
Before I joined the SEC, Bitcoin had been decided not to be a security. Therefore, the SEC’s jurisdiction over Bitcoin was rather indirect. “
Clayton has remained in the industry after leaving the SEC in December 2020 and is currently advising One River Asset Management on cryptocurrencies.
While he claims to have no special insight into what new laws are coming from his time as head of the SEC, he believes the regulatory environment is in need of a shake-up.
“Where digital assets end up at the end of the day […] will be driven in part by regulation – both national and international – and I expect, and I now speak as a citizen, that regulation will come into this area both directly and indirectly, be it because of how they are held at banks, security accounts, and such. We will see this regulatory environment evolve. “
Clayton’s comments come just a week after billionaire hedge fund manager Ray Dalio warned that the The US can outright ban Bitcoin just like they did with gold in the 1930s.
His comments on Bitcoin’s status as a non-security are also interesting in light of Ripple’s calls to the SEC for documents from the agency to determine exactly how it concluded that Bitcoin and Ethereum were not securities.
The company and its funders have repeatedly claimed that XRP is not a security however, the SEC believes it is distinctly different because it is more centralized. Former SEC attorney Marc Powers told Cointelegraph the agency is conducting significant overreach in its case against Ripple and its executives.