On late Friday night, US President Donald Trump said he will nominate the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton to serve as the next United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
“For the past three years, Jay has been an extraordinarily successful SEC Chairman, overseeing efforts to modernize the regulation of the capital markets, protect Main Street investors, enhance American competitiveness, and address challenges ranging from cybersecurity issues to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Attorney General William P. Barr
On Clayton’s nomination.
This appointment will be effective on July 3.
Clayton will be replacing Geoffrey Berman as the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who said he will not resign from his position and will only step down when a successor is confirmed by the Senate.
Berman oversaw several prosecutions of Trump’s top allies including his personal lawyers.
This may, however, turn out to be a good thing for bitcoin.
“The SEC chair is one of the most important U.S. officials for crypto regulation. Chairman Clayton's replacement will have a massive impact on the industry (for better or worse). Our chance at ETF approval & clarity on a wide range of issues for years to come hangs in the balance,” said Jake Chervinksy, general counsel at Compound Finance.
Under Clayton, all the Bitcoin ETF application has been rejected on the ground of market manipulation. Just this week, a new proposal from WisdomTree is filed for an exchange-traded fund (ETF) with 5% exposure to bitcoin.
A Bitcoin ETF is expected to protect retail investors from paying a drastic premium to get crypto exposure. Grayscale retail investors are currently paying a 20% premium on BTC and a whopping 750% premium on ETH products.
Moreover, it means investors won’t have to get a wallet or go through a miner. An ETF would broaden the scope of potential Bitcoin investors which could serve as a hedge during volatility in the equity market.
“It would broaden the breadth of investors in BTC. This is important because some investors view Bitcoin as a safe haven when equity markets become volatile and/or move into a bear market environment. A Bitcoin ETF would be an easy and inexpensive way to hedge various market conditions,” Richard Keary, the founder of Global ETF Advisors LLC, told OKEx.
Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz also shared a hope over a possible Bitcoin ETF approval in the future if we get a crypto-friendly chairman or chairwoman.
Have to think Jay Powell leaving the SEC is good for $BTC. Makes etf more likely. Let’s hope his successor is a futurist.
— Michael Novogratz (@novogratz) June 20, 2020
There is even a possibility that SEC commissioner Hester Peirce aka ‘Crypto Mom’ may also move up the ranks to fill the position. The moniker ‘Crypto Mom’ came after she dissented on the SEC’s decision to reject a Bitcoin ETF application.
Just this month, Peirce was tapped for a second term that will last through 2025. She has been one of the most prominent crypto advocates who proposed a safe harbor for crypto startups looking to issue tokens.