SEC Cryptocurrency Approach ‘Measured,’ Chairman Clayton Tells Senate

United States regulators believe they have adopted a “measured yet proactive approach” to cryptocurrency regulation which aids both retail and institutional investors.

That was the formal view of Jay Clayton, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who updated lawmakers on official policy on Dec. 10.

Clayton: SEC fosters innovation

Speaking in testimony before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Clayton highlighted the potential of blockchain technology in helping market participants amass capital. 

“As I have previously stated, I am optimistic that developments in distributed ledger technology can help facilitate capital formation, providing promising investment opportunities for both institutional and Main Street investors,” he said.

Summarizing, Clayton endorsed the SEC’s general tact on disruptive financial innovation:

“Overall, I believe we have taken a measured, yet proactive regulatory approach that both fosters innovation and capital formation while protecting our investors and our markets.”

ICO legal action complicated

While Clayton has sought to take a balanced view of cryptocurrencies in particular amid intense scrutiny by Washington this year, the SEC more broadly has come under fire for its policies. 

As Cointelegraph previously reported, enforcement actions against certain companies which conducted initial coin offerings (ICOs) in 2017 continue. One legal battle involving the Canadian messaging app Kik almost saw the company close down altogether in October. 

In a Q&A session following his testimony, disruptive finance media outlet Crowdfund Insider quoted Clayton describing the enforcement situation as complicated.

On the topic of cryptocurrency, specifically Facebook’s unlaunched Libra digital currency, he reportedly added, “It’s here, we should not go around it.”

This month, meanwhile, Clayton joined various prominent regulators in penning a report for the U.S. government which touched on potential risks posed by broader adoption of stablecoins.

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