Jay Clayton, the former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC, was appointed to the position by ex-President Donald Trump in 2017. Clayton frequently supported Bitcoin (BTC) as a store of value throughout his time as the SEC’s chairman. He discussed crypto and how it should be controlled in the future during an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box show this Wednesday.
The former SEC chair stated that he is a “huge believer in crypto and the underlying technology and that the benefits of its efficiency in the financial sector and tokenization are immeasurable.
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) December 15, 2021
Jay Clayton supports crypto but regulated
Jay Clayton’s comments come after the current SEC head, Gary Gensler, recently stated that the regulator has no intentions and power to ban cryptocurrency but that Congress may do so. However, Gensler cautioned that cryptocurrency in its current state is akin to the wild west without proper regulation.
When questioned if the current chairperson is imposing too many restrictions on the crypto industry, Jay responded that cryptocurrencies serve a number of purposes and are linked to various industries, and the SEC should only regulate those industries.
Cryptocurrencies, Jay Clayton says, should be embraced but with adequate regulation. He believes the government should be “reactive to people who breach well-defined regulations, but proactive in pushing the adoption of this technology throughout our financial system.”
During Clayton’s tenure, no Bitcoin ETF was approved, which now happens in 2021 under Gary Gensler. Since then, the SEC has been chastised for rejecting spot ETF applications but allowing Bitcoin futures ETFs.
“There is no justification for the notion that investing in derivatives for an asset is permissible for investors but not investing in the asset itself,” Grayscale said to SEC Secretary Vanessa Countryman in a letter. Under the Administrative Protection Act (APA), the SEC was accused of handling the two Bitcoin ETF proposals unequally.