SEC’s Jay Clayton Interview With CNBC Discusses Initial Coin Offerings And Long-Awaited Bitcoin ETF
Investors have been waiting for months to find out some kind of answer to the requests for Bitcoin ETFs, and it looks like the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission is finally offering some details. SEC chairman Jay Clayton recently sat down for an interview with CNBC to talk about the way that the entity has been cracking down on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and details about the Bitcoin ETF.
The first topic of discussion was the way that the SEC has settles with two ICOs and a cryptocurrency exchange – EtherDelta, CarrierEQ Inc (Airfox), and Paragon Inc. The founder of EtherDelta, Zachary Coburn, recently received criticism from the SEC after not registering the exchange, a requirement of offering security tokens. As a result, he was hit with a $300,000 fine. The other two startups were in violation of the same regulation, each subjected to a $250,000 fine. They will also have to file a report with the SEC and refund investors.
On these circumstances, Coburn said,
“I think we’ve been clear that we don’t believe Bitcoin is a security, but many ICOs that you see and you talk about, they are securities and if you’re going to offer and sell securities, you have to do so in compliance with our laws … The recent actions further emphasized that our securities laws do apply to the ICO space.”
Continuing, he noted that the best ways to raise funding with an ICO is through a private placement or registration with the entity. However, if they register with the SEC, he they have to provide financial statements and will be required to disclose certain information about their activities. The chairman noted,
“We’ve had no ICOs registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. To the extend ICO is being conducted offshore or pursuant to a private placement exemption, fine to the extent that you have conducted a public offering an ICO its non-compliant.”
The Bitcoin ETF garnered some attention as well, which is something that the entire crypto space has been eagerly anticipating. The chairman refrained from creating the timeline for the ETF, explaining that there are still concerns regarding trading in Bitcoin, among other issues. He added,
“Whether there’s reliable price information on trading markets and as well as custody as well as whether people who hold those assets can count on those assets to be there in the same way you can with other assets that underlie an ETF.”